Three summit finishes and two individual time trials for the 108th edition, set to take place between 26 June-18 July.
For the fifth time in history, the Tour de France will start from Bretagne, where the puncheurs will have two opportunities to shine and fight for the yellow jersey in as many days, on Côte de la Fosse aux Loups and Mûr-de-Bretagne, short but explosive climbs that have the potential to create some interesting gaps. A 27km-long individual time trial in the Mayenne department, some flat stages where the crosswinds could play an important role and a mountain top finish to Tignes will round out what promises to be a spectacular opening week.
A double ascent of the fearsome Mont Ventoux on stage 11 and a trip to Andorra will be the highlights of the race’s second week, before two mountain top finishes – to Col de Portet and Luz Ardiden – and an undulating 31km stage against the clock, all crammed in the final days of the event. The curtain will be drawn again in Paris, on the famous Champs-Élysées, where this year Sam Bennett took the spoils, sealing his superb victory in the points classification and netting Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 42nd Tour de France stage victory.
“The start of the race will sure be an exciting one, with some stages suited to Julian and others where we could be in for strong echelons. Looking over the whole parcours, we can notice there will be plenty of opportunities to show ourselves, and this is without taking into account the numerous sprint stages”, said Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Tom Steels. “Even for the time trials we have guys capable of getting good results. The Mont Ventoux stage and the ones where we’ll go over 2000 meters promise to be very demanding and should play an important role in the final outcome. Overall, it’s a route we like very much.”
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images