A guide to the Tour de France
A stage by stage guide to the Tour de France 2017. This video gives an overview of the 2017 race route:
The Tour de France 2017 gets under way with a Grand Départ in the German city of Duesseldorf. Stage 1 is a 13km time trial, starting at Messe Duesseldorf, to the north of the city, running along the river Rhein, across the Oberkasseler bridge, then back over the Rheinkniebrücke. The route is along the prestigious Königsallee, past the Altstadt on Heinrich Heine Allee, then full steam ahead by the Rhein back to the start/finish line at Messe Duesseldorf. The time trial specialists like Tony Martin, Stefan Kung, Primoz Roglic, and Jos van Emden have the opportunity to take the first yellow jersey of the 2017 race. Read about Stage 1, Tour de France 2017 here.
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. Classified as hilly, the stage has a total of five classified climbs, with one of them, the Côte des Religieuses (Category 3), providing a kick at the finish. That should make Stage 3 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. Nibali won't be at the Tour 2017, but could Froome gain time on his rivals, or will somebody new - perhaps Jakob Fuglsang - triumph in 2017? Read about Stage 5, Tour de France 2017.
Stage 6 is 216km from Vesoul to Troyes. From Vesoul in the Haute Saone département, the race heads west north west across the plateau de Langres, and via Colombey-les-Deux Eglises, to Troyes, in the Aube. This is an out-and-out sprinters' stage. Read about Stage 6, Tour de France 2017.
Stage 7 takes the riders 213.5km from Troyes to Nuit-Saint-Georges. This flat stage finishes with a 40km loop which could be affected by crosswinds. Nevertheless, it is likely to be contested by the sprinters. Read about Stage 7, Tour de France 2017.
Stage 8 starts in Dôle, and goes into the Jura mountains, taking in some tough climbs on the way to a finish at the Station des Rousses. Read about Stage 8, Tour de France 2017.
Stage 9 starts in Nantua and heads into the Jura. It's a mountain stage, with three steep climbs - the Col de la Biche, the Grand Colombier (from Virieu-le-Petit), and the Mont du Chat. The race finishes with the descent of the Mont du Chat to le Bourget-du-Lac, then a flat run to Chambéry. Read about Stage 9, Tour de France 2017.
Stage 10 of the 2017 Tour takes place after the first rest day. It passes by one of the most famous historical sites in the south west of France, the Lascaux cave, and takes in beautiful villages along the Dordgone river including la Roque-Gageac. There will almost certainly be a bunch sprint in Bergerac. Read about Stage 10, Tour de France 2017.
Stage 11 of the 2017 Tour is the last flat stage before the Pyrenees, 203.5km from Eymet to Pau. It's a transitional stage - designed to get the race from point A to point B. Whisper it softly, but in spite of a visit to Pierrick Fédrigo's home village, and a whizz past the Chapelle Notre-Dame des Cyclistes, it could be rather dull. Maybe it's one where you can afford to ignore the live coverage, and just watch the highliights. Read about Stage 11, Tour de France 2017.
Stage 12 of the 2017 Tour is the first day in the Pyrenees, and it's 214.5km long. The climbs include the Port de Balès and the Col de Peyresourde. After the Col de Peyresourde, the road goes up again to the ski resort of Peyragudes, and there's a short section at 16% on the runway of Peyragudes airport, in the last kilometre. Read about Stage 12, Tour de France 2017.
Stage 13 of the 2017 Tour takes place on Bastille Day. It's a short, sharp race of 100km, in the Pyrenees, featuring some lesser-known, steep climbs - including the Mur de Péguère. The race organisers hope it will lead to dynamic, ambitious racing. Read about Stage 13, Tour de France 2017.
Stage 14 of the 2017 Tour is a medium mountain (or hilly) stage of 181.5km from Blagnac via the Tarn and the Aveyron départements to Rodez. The short, sharp climb of the Côte Saint-Pierre at the finish in Rodez may mean that it will suit a puncher like Peter Sagan - but Greg van Avermaet beat him there on Stage 13 of the 2015 Tour. Read about Stage 14, Tour de France 2017.
Stage 15 of the 2017 Tour is 189.5km of 'medium mountain' roads, finishing in the Auvergne town of le Puy-en-Velay. It seems likely that a strong rider could win from a breakaway; Christian Prudhomme tells us to expect surprises. Read about Stage 15, Tour de France 2017.
On Stage 16 of the 2017 Tour, the riders are back in the saddle after a rest day in Le-Puy-en-Velay. They head for the Rhône valley, and the picturesque town of Romans-sur-Isère. Read about Stage 16, Tour de France 2017.
Stage 17 of the 2017 Tour de France takes the race into the Alps. The riders climb the Col de la Croix de Fer, then the Col du Télégraphe and Col du Galibier, before a finish at the ski resort of Serre-Chevalier. Read about Stage 17, Tour de France 2017.
Stage 18 of the 2017 Tour is the final day in the Alps. It takes in the Category 1 Col du Vars, then there's a summit finish at the top of the Col d'Izoard (hors catégorie). Read about Stage 18, Tour de France 2017.
Stage 19 of the 2017 Tour is the longest of the whole race - 222.5km on a mainly flat route to Salon-de-Provence, home of Nostradamus for part of his life. My prophesy: he who wins the day; shall be a member of a breakaway. Read about Stage 19, Tour de France 2017.
Stage 20 is an individual time trial in France's second city, starting out from the Stade Vélodrome (Olympique Marseille's football ground), and on a route which includes the Corniche road, the old port, and a climb to Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde Cathedral. If the GC is close, this stage could decide the race. Read about Stage 20, Tour de France 2017.
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 south of Paris in Montgeron, and wend their way to the outskirts of the city, before entering Paris, and heading for the Grand Palais exhibition hall, where they ride right through the middle of the building. They tackle the finishing circuit, up the Champs-Elysées, round the Arc de Triomphe, and back down to the Louvre via place de l'Alma. There'll be a sprint, for the most prestigious stage win of the race. Read about Stage 21, Tour de France 2017.
The 2017 Tour de France begins in Duesseldorf, Germany.
The 2016 Tour de France began with a Grand Départ Mont
Saint-Michel, and raced through the Loire Valley, the Pyrenees,
Provence (including Mont Ventoux) and the Alps. Read a stage by stage guide to the route of the
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