From Nice to Paris, via the Alps, Massif Central, Pyrenees, Jura, and Vosges.
The route of the 107th Tour de France is out and even though not all the stage profiles have been unveiled, it’s more than clear that next year’s edition will favour the climbers, six daunting summit finishes (including an uphill time trial) being spread out over the 3470km-long parcours which starts from Nissa La Bella, host of the Grand Depart for the first time since 1981.
Sprinters, puncheurs and baroudeurs – they will all have opportunities next summer, between June 24 and July 19, but the spotlight will be again on the yellow jersey contenders, who are expected to light up the fireworks on Orcières-Merlette, Mont Aigoual, Grand Colombier, Villard-de-Lans, Méribel, and La Planche des Belles Filles – the mountain top finishes of an edition that will feature close to 30 tough classified ascents, including Plateau des Glières, Col de la Madeleine, Col de la Lusette, and Col de la Hourcère.
Julian Alaphilippe was one of the stars of this year’s Tour de France, shining brightly in what has been a spectacular July for him and Deceuninck – Quick-Step and leaving an indelible mark over his home race, which saw him put in an electric performance and spend 14 days in the yellow jersey; to this, he added two tremendous stage victories, in Épernay and Pau, and a top 5 overall in Paris, where he took to the podium to be awarded the most aggressive rider of the race prize.
The 27-year-old Frenchman was among the riders who attended Tuesday’s presentation held in the Palais des Congrès, and shared his thoughts on the route: “I will study the parcours in detail together with the team, but what I can already say is that it’s one of the toughest editions in recent years, with a demanding opening weekend in the south that will create some gaps and several gruelling climbs. On paper, there are a couple of stages that suit me, but I will know more once I do the recon. What I can tell you for now is that I won’t go for the general classification, as next season I will have other goals. Overall, is a parcours that I like, with many new climbs, which will make the race more interesting and spectacular, but at the same time, harder, and I can’t wait to be at the start in Nice.”
Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen/ Getty Images