A guide to the Tour de France
A stage by stage guide to the Tour de France 2018.
The 2018 Grand Départ will take place in the Vendée in western France.
Stage 1 begins in Noirmoutier-en-l'Ile on Saturday 7th July 2018, but no longer crosses the Passage du Gois causeway, since the race starts a week later than originally planned, and the timing of low tide is not convenient on the new date of the stage. 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.' Now the race will take another crossing to the mainland, and Prudhomme will have to find some poetic words about a bridge.
The stage continues south east along the Vendée coast via les Sables-d'Olonne, where crosswinds could split the peloton. Then it veers inland to the finish in Fontenay-le-Comte.
There will be time bonuses for the first three finishers, so Stage 1 is an opportunity for the day's winner to take the yellow jersey.
Read about Stage 1, Tour de France 2018.
Stage 2 on Sunday 8th July 2018 starts in Mouilleron-Saint-Germain, and is an
anti-clockwise route through the Vendée (from 3 o'clock to 9 o'clock)
via Pouzauges, Montaigu, and Aizenay to la Roche-sur-Yon. This is a day
out in rolling countryside of fields and thick hedges, known as the bocage vendéen.
It's a racing certainty that there'll be a bunch sprint to decide the
winner. The yellow jersey could change hands.
Read about Stage 2, Tour de France 2018.
Stage 3 on Monday 9th July 2018 is a 35-km team time trial in the Maine-et-Loire département. The route starts and finishes at Cholet.
Read about Stage 3, Tour de France 2018.
Stage 4 on Tuesday 10th July 2018 starts from La Baule and heads east north east via Pontchâteau, Blain, and Nozay towards Brittany. The border with Brittany marks the end of the Grand Départ. The Stage 4 route continues through Brittany, and veers west back towards the coast for a finish at Sarzeau.
Read about Stage 4, Tour de France 2018.
Stage 5 is 203km from Lorient via Concarneau to Quimper. The first part of the route takes the riders north west, by or near the coast to Concarneau. The second half of the stage is inland into the Black Mountains, and involves five categorised côtes. This terrain resembles that of a Belgian Classic race. There's a short, sharp uphill section just before the finish in Quimper.
Read about Stage 5, Tour de France 2018.
The route of Stage 6 is 181km from Brest to Mûr de Bretagne Guerlédan. The route takes in the Roc de Trévézel climb in the Monts d'Arrée hills, then passes via Huelgoat and Carhaix-Plouguer on the way to Mûr de Bretagne. Here, there's a 16km finishing circuit, involving two ascents of the Cote de Mûr de Bretagne (2km at 6.9%). At the top of the ascent the second time, comes the finish line.
Read about Stage 6, Tour de France 2018.
The route of Stage 7 is 231km (the longest distance of any stage in the 2018 race) from Fougères to Chartres. Alençon is likely to be on the route, at about the half-way point. The wind could play a role in the last 40km, but the finish should be a bunch sprint.
Read about Stage 7, Tour de France 2018.
The route of Stage 8 is 181km from Dreux to Amiens Métropole. Winds could split the peloton in the closing kilometres, but it should come down to a bunch sprint in Amiens. A French rider will be keen to secure the victory on Bastille Day - maybe Arnaud Démare?
Read about Stage 8, Tour de France 2018.
The route of Stage 9 is 154km from Arras Citadelle to Roubaix. There are fifteen sections of cobbles, totalling 21.7km. It'll either be sunshine and dust or rain and mud. Either way, both GC contenders and Classics/cobbles specialists will want to be up at the front battling for the win. A rest day follows Stage 9.
Read about Stage 9, Tour de France 2018.
Lake Annecy, by Hedgehog Cycling
The route of Stage 10 is 159km from Annecy to le Grand Bornand. It includes climbs of the Col de la Croix Fry, to the plateau des Glières (where there is a stretch of dirt road across the plateau), the Col de Romme, and the Col de la Colombière. The stage ends with a descent to le Grand Bornand.
The Etape du Tour will be on the route of Stage 10.
Read about Stage 10, Tour de France 2018.
The route of Stage 11 is 108km from Albertville to la Rosière Espace San Bernado. It takes in the Montée de Bisanne, the Col du Pré, the Cormet de Roselend, and the final climb to la Rosière. This mid-distance mountain stage is all climbing and descending, which should make for an intense and exciting race.
La Course, the women's event linked to the Tour de France, is being held over a 118km route which is largely the same as the men's Stage 11.
Read about Stage 11, Tour de France 2018.
The route of Stage 12 is 175km from Bourg-Saint-Maurice to Alpe d'Huez. Climbs before the final ascent to Alpe d'Huez include Col de la Madeleine, the Lacets de Montvernier, and the Col de la Croix de Fer. This should be an Alpine classic to round off the Tour's stay in that mountain range for another year.
Read about Stage 12, Tour de France 2018.
The route of Stage 13 is 169km from Bourg-d'Oisans to Valence. After the Alps, this is a chance for the sprinters.
Read about Stage 13, Tour de France 2018.
The route of Stage 14 is 187km from Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Mende.
Read about Stage 14, Tour de France 2018.
The route of Stage 15 is 181km from Millau to Carcassonne. The Pic de Nore is the main difficulty of the stage.
Read about Stage 15, Tour de France 2018.
The route of Stage 16 is 218km from Carcassonne to Bagnères-de-Luchon.
Read about Stage 16, Tour de France 2018.
The route of Stage 17 is only 65km from Bagnères-de-Luchon to the Col de Portet (Commune de Saint-Lary-Soulan). As well as the Col de Portet at the end, the riders must climb the Col de Peyresourde/Montée de Peyragudes and the Col de Val Louron-Azet. The course is all up or down, with hardly any flat, and the race organisers expect it to be dynamite.
Read about Stage 17, Tour de France 2018.
The route of Stage 18 is 172km from Trie-sur-Baïse to Pau.
Read about Stage 18, Tour de France 2018.
The route of Stage 19 is 200km from Lourdes to Laruns, and takes in the Col d'Aspin, the Col du Tourmalet, the Col des Bordères, and the Col d'Aubisque.
Read about Stage 19, Tour de France 2018.
Stage 20 is a 31-km individual time trial over a rolling route between Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle and Espelette.
Read about Stage 20, Tour de France 2018.
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 start is at Houilles. The riders head into Paris via the Bois de Boulogne, then tackle a 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 coveted stage win of the race. Read about Stage 21, Tour de France 2018.
The 2019 Tour de France begins with a Grand Départ in the Belgian capital Brussels.
The 2017 Tour de France began with a Grand Départ in
Duesseldorf, Germany, and raced through the Jura, Burgundy, the
Dordogne, the Pyreneees, Provence, the Alps, and Marseille for a time
trial, before the traditional Paris finish. Read a stage by stage guide to the route of
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