A guide to the Tour de France
The Tour de France 2017 gets under way with a 13km time trial from Messe Duesseldorf, along the bank of the river Rhein, along Königsallee, past the Altstadt, and back by the river to the start/finish line. This is a chance for the time trial specialists to take the yellow jersey. Read about Stage 1, Tour de France 2017.
Stage 2 starts in Duesseldorf (Germany), and begins with a loop east to Erkrath and the Neander valley. It then returns via Mettmann and Ratingen to Duesseldorf, before heading west south west to Belgium, for a finish in Liège. It's a flat stage, so it is likely to result in a bunch sprint, but whether the 10s time bonus will be enough for the winner to take the yellow jersey will depend on the time gaps after the Stage 1 time trial. Read about Stage 2, Tour de France 2017.
Stage 3 starts in Verviers, Belgium, and heads south into the rolling forests of the Ardennes. It continues into Luxembourg, before crossing the border to France for the finish at Longwy. Although classified flat, the stage has a kick at the finish, which should make it favourable for puncheurs like Peter Sagan. Read about Stage 3, Tour de France 2017.
Stage 4 starts in Mondorf-les-Bains, a spa town in Luxembourg which is home to Fränk and Andy Schleck. It travels via Schengen, before crossing the border into France, and heading south through the Lorraine region, roughly along the course of the river Moselle. The organisers think it could be affected by crosswinds in the Meurthe-et-Moselle département, but it's nevertheless likely to end in a bunch sprint in Vittel. Read about Stage 4, Tour de France 2017.
Stage 5 is 160km from Vittel, to la-Planche-des-Belles-Filles, in the Vosges mountains. Most of the day is undramatic, but the short climb to the finish is steep enough (20% on one section) to split the GC favourites. Chris Froome and Vincenzo Nibali have prospered here in the past. Could one of them gain time on their rivals, or will somebody new triumph in 2017? Read about Stage 5, Tour de France 2017.
18th October 2016
The Tour de France 2017 route was today announced at a press conference in Paris by Christian Prudhomme. After the Grand Départ in Duesseldorf, the race heads for the Vosges, then the Jura, with a climb of the Grand Colombier. It takes in the Pyrenees, including a climb of the Col de Peyresourde, and the Alps, with finishes at the Col d'Izoard and Serre Chevalier. A time trial in Marseille, the day before the finish in Paris, could be critical. Read about the Tour de France 2017 route announcement.
The 2017 Tour de France begins in Duesseldorf, Nord Rhein-Westphalia. The German city stepped in at short notice after former Mayor of London Boris Johnson rejected the chance to host the event in the British capital at the last minute.
There's to be a progrmme of events in the build-up to the Grand Départ, then the team presentation takes place on Thursday 29th June 2017; official training is on Friday 30th June, and the Stage 1 time trial on Saturday 1st July gets the racing under way.
Read about the Grand Départ 2017.
2nd March 2017
The 2018 Grand Départ will take place in the Vendée in western France, it was announced on 28th February 2017.
Stage 1 begins in Noirmoutier-en-l'Ile on 30th June 2018, and crosses the Passage du Gois causeway. Christian Prudhomme described the Passage du Gois as a place imbued with magic. 'It's particular aesthetic stems from the coming and going of the tides, which orchestrate the disappearance and rebirth of this bit of road linking the Ile de Noirmoutier with the continent.'
24th July 2016
André Greipel won Stage 21 on the Champs-Elysées today, coming round Alexander Kristoff, to cross the line first. Froome finished safely, to confirm his overall win. Earlier, Chloe Hosking won the women's race, La Course. Read about Greipel wins Stage 21, Tour de France 2016.
23rd July 2016
Ion Izaguirre won Stage 20 today, on a descent from the Col de Joux Plane to Morzine. Chris Froome finished safely with his teammates and the other favourites, to make certain of victory in Paris tomorrow. Read about Izaguirre wins Stage 20, Tour de France 2016.
More Tour de France 2016 news, including stage reports.
Stage 21 is the traditional final stage of the Tour de France, with the GC already settled, and a prestigious stage win on the Champs-Elysées at stake. The riders start north of Paris in Chantilly, and wend their way to the outskirts of the city, before crossing the Seine to the Bois de Boulogne, then entering Paris via the Porte Maillot. They pass the Arc de Triomphe, and descend via place de l'Alma and place Concorde to the Louvre. Here, they begin 8 complete tours of the finishing circuit, up the Champs-Elysées, and back down to the Louvre via place de l'Alma. The ninth time over the line (part way up the Champs-Elysées) is the important one, which will determine the stage winner. Read about Stage 21, Tour de France 2016.
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