A guide to the Tour de France
18th October 2016
The outline of the route of the Tour de France 2017 was announced at a press conference at the Palais des Congrès in Paris today. This video shows the route:
As was already known, the Grand Départ 2017 is in Duesseldorf. The rest of the route was revealed in Paris. These are the 21 stages of the 2017 edition of the race.
The race begins with a time trial in Duesseldorf on Saturday 1st July 2017, which will give the specialists against the clock an opportunity to take the yellow jersey.
Stage 2 takes the riders out of Germany and to Liège, in Belgium, for a stage likely to suit the sprinters.
Stage 3 begins in Verviers, Belgium, and continues into Luxembourg, before making its way into France for a stage finish at Longwy - a chance for the puncheurs to take a win.
Stage 4 heads south to Vittel, known for its mineral water.
This is the first mountain stage, heading from Vittel to a summit finish La Planche des Belles Filles, in the Vosges mountains and the Haute Saône département. Chris Froome scored his first Tour de France stage win here in 2012, and Vincenzo Nibali won on his way to overall victory in 2014.
Stage 6 is 216km from Vesoul to Troyes, via Charles de Gaulle's home village of Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises. The win is likely to be contested by the sprinters, but the stage could be affected by crosswinds.
Another long stage (214km) takes the race into Burgundy wine country, with a finish at Nuit-Saint-Georges.
From Dôle, the riders head south east into the Jura, taking in some tough climbs on the way to a finish at the Station des Rousses.
Stage 9 is a hard day in the Jura, starting in Nantua, and taking in the Grand Colombier (climbed from Virieu-le-Petit, with a 22% gradient on one section of the ascent), and the Mont du Chat. There's 4600m of climbing altogether, and the race ends in Chambéry.
After the first rest day, Stage 10 is in the west of France, taking in the Lascaux caves, famous for their prehistoric cave paintings, and ending in Bergerac.
With the Pyrenees looming, this is a chance for the sprinters on a 202km trek from Eymet to Pau.
Stage 12 is a proper Pyrenean mountain day, featuring several climbs, including the Port de Balès and the Col de Peyresourde, and ending up on the runway of the altiport at Peyragudes.
This short, sharp race on Bastille Day is just 100km of racing in the Pyrenees. It features lesser-known, steep climbs, and will be raced in about 3 hours.
From Blagnac, known for its Airbus factory, the riders head via the Aveyron to Rodez.
This 189km stage takes the riders into the Auvergne (part of the Massif Central).
Starting out from Le-Puy-en-Velay, the race heads via the Ardèche and Rhône valley to a probable sprint finish in the picturesque town of Romans-sur-Isère.
Stage 17 is in the southern Alps, taking in the Col de Croix de Fer, the Maurienne valley, the Col du Télégraphe, and Valloire, to finish in the ski resort of Serre Chevalier.
Again in the southern half of the French Alps, Stage 18 goes on a loop heading south from Briançon, then back northwards, taking in a climb of the Col de Vars, and finshing with the ascent of the Col d'Izoard.
La Course by Le Tour, the women's race, will take place over the final 67km of the route of Stage 18.
This is the route of the Etape du Tour 2017 (reservations open Friday 21st October 2016). This video shows the Etape du Tour route:
The race now goes further south to Provence, specifically from Embrun to the town of Salon-de-Provence (known as the base of the Patrouille de France, the French army's aerial aerobatics squad, and as the town where Nostradamus lived).
This 23km time trial in the southern city of Marseille could very well shake up the overall standings the day before Paris. It will start from the Stade Vélodrome - the ground of the local football team, Olympique Marseille, and go on a route which will include the Corniche road, the Vieux Port, and a climb to the Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde Cathedral, before finishing back at the football ground.
The final stage of the 2017 Tour de France is 105km. It starts in Montgeron, where the first Tour de France began in 1903. As usual, it will be largely ceremonial until the finishing circuit in the centre of Paris. The riders approach Paris from the south, and go along boulevard des Maréchaux and the Esplanade des Invalides, before going through the inside of the Grand Palais exhibition building.
Stage 21 starts about 4pm. The finishing circuit will be the familiar one, going around the Arc de Triomphe, with the finish line part-way up the Champs-Elysées.
At the press conference, Christian Prudhomme also said that the bonus seconds for the first, second, and third place stage finishers will be as last year - 10s, 6s, and 4s. To make the racing more or exciting, and less stifled, he would like authorisation from the UCI to have one less rider per team (eight riders per team instead of nine).
Chris Froome and the other top riders were present at the Tour de France 2017 route announcement.
Froome said: 'It's definitely going to be a climber's race from what I can tell. It's very light on time trial kilometres, but that's all part of the race, and that's something I'm going to have to focus my training on, being the best I can be on the climbs. Certainly, from my first reaction there were quite a few stages going up over 2000m. The Izoard goes up to 2300m; that's going to be an absolute beast of a stage. Initial feelings are that it's going to be a race that is won or lost in the mountains. Of course, it's the Tour, and anything can happen, so we have to be ready for all eventualities.'
The 2017 Tour de France begins in Duesseldorf, Germany, and also visits Belgium and Luxembourg on Stages 2 and 3.
It tackles the Vosges, then the Jura, before a transfer to the south west, and the Dordogne. After that, there are two stages in the Pyrenees, then a transition to the Massif Central.
Next up is the fifth and final of France's mountain ranges, the Alps. Then there's just time for a visit to Provence, and Marseille, France's second city, for a time trial, before the final transfer to Paris for the traditional Champs-Elysées sprint.
The Grand Départ 2017 takes place in Duesseldorf. The German city stepped in at short notice after London Mayor Boris Johnson cancelled the UK capital's bid.
There'll be a programme of events and festivities leading up to the Tour, the team presentation on Thursday 29th June 2017, and team training on Friday 30th June. The Stage 1 time trial is on Saturday 1st July; Stage 2 starts in Duesseldorf, makes a loop through the Neander Valley, then comes back to Duesseldorf, before making its way west to Mönchengladbach, then to Belgium, and the stage finish in Liège.
Read about the Grand Départ 2017.
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