A guide to the Tour de France
The outline of the route of the Tour de France 2018 was announced at a press conference at the Palais des Congrès in Paris today. Highlights include a double ascent of the Mur de Bretagne on Stage 6, a return to Alpe-d'Huez on Stage 12, and a short (65km), sharp Pyrenean Stage 17.
This video shows the route:
As was already known, the Grand Départ 2018 is in the Vendée, with Stage 1 starting on the Ile de Noirmoutier, and the race staying in the area for three and a half days. The rest of the route was revealed in Paris. These are the 21 stages of the 2018 edition of the race.
The race begins with a 195-km stage from the Ile de Noirmoutier, along the coast, then inland to Fontenay-le-Comte. The race could be affected by crosswinds, but should finish in a bunch sprint.
Stage 2 takes the riders for a 183-km tour of the Bocage Vendéen, with rolling roads through small towns and villages. It should be another opportunity for the sprinters at the finish in la Roche-sur-Yon.
Stage 3 is a team time trial - quite unusual for the Tour de France in recent years. The 35-km route includes rhythm changes and a small hill.
The Tour heads into Brittany on Stage 4, with a 192km route finishing in Sarzeau.
This Breton stage is 203km from Lorient to Quimper.
Stage 6 is 181km, including a finishing circuit that tackles the Mur de Bretagne twice.
Stage 7 is the longest stage of the 2018 race (231km). The Medieval citadel of Fougères is the backdrop for the start, and the Gothic Cathedral of Chartres will provide the scenery for the finish.
Stage 8 takes the riders north, on a 181-km route with a finish at Amiens Métropole.
Stage 9 is 154km, and takes in fifteen sectors of cobbles totalling 22km. It finishes just short of the Roubaix velodrome.
Lake Annecy, by HedgehogCycling
The Tour de France is in the Alps on Stage 10. From Annecy, the route heads south along the shore of the Lac d'Annecy, to the end (Bout du Lac), before heading into the mountains. The riders climb the Col de la Croix Fry, and then ascend to the plateau des Glières, where there's a stretch of dirt road. There are two more climbs - the Col de Romme and the Col de la Colombière - before a descent to le Grand Bornand.
L'Etape du Tour is to use the route of Stage 10.
Stage 11 is 108km in the Alps, and provides the route for La Course, the women's event, as well as Stage 11 of the men's Tour. This Alpine stage climbs the Col du Cormet de Roseland and Col du Petit Saint-Bernard, finishing at la Rosière Espace San Bernado.
Stage 12 is the last day in the Alps - 175km from Bourg Saint-Maurice to Alpe-d'Huez. The route includes the Col de la Madeleine, the Lacets de Montvernier, and Col de la Croix de Fer, before the final climb to Alpe-d'Huez.
A 169-km yomp from Bourg-d'Oisans to Valence provides an opportunity for the sprinters.
Stage 14 heads through the Gorges de l'Ardèche, then into the Massif Central, with climbs of the Col de la Croix de Berthel and the Côte de la Croix Neuve. The stage distance is 187km.
This 181km stage takes the riders through the hilly countryside of the Aveyron and the Tarn, with the main difficulty a climb of the Pic de Nore. Carcassonne is the spectacular location of the finish.
Into the Pyrenees! The climbs include the Col de Portet d'Aspet, the Col de Montet, and the Col du Portillon. The 218-km route ends with a descent to Bagnères-de-Luchon.
Stage 17 is only 65km long, but includes a lot of climbing. There are ascents of the Col de Val Louron-Azet and the Col de Portet.
This 172-km stage in the south west of France ends in Pau, where a sprinter should win on the day.
The race now goes back into the Pyrenees, with climbs in the second half of the stage, of the Col d'Aspin, the Col du Tourmalet, the Col des Bordères, and the Col d'Aubisque.
This 31km time trial is for puncheurs not rouleurs. It could prove critical to the General Classification, as it is the last opportunity to gain time.
The final stage of the 2018 Tour de France is 115km. It starts in Houilles, and heads into Paris via the Bois de Boulogne.
Stage 21 usually 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.
Before the route announcement, Chris Froome was awarded the 'Vélo d'Or', a recognition that he achieved more success than any other professional cyclist in 2017.
Before speaking about the race route Christian Prudhomme gave a message about cycle safety on the road, partly prompted by the death of Michele Scarponi who was killed by the driver of a truck. The President of ASO held up a jersey with a reminder of the rules on passing cyclists in France (leave at least 1m50, and 1m at lower speeds in town). M Prudhomme said that the roads should be shared, and drivers must show respect for vulnerable road users including cyclists.
The 2018 Tour de Yorkshire takes place over four days from 3rd to 6th May 2018. Host towns include Ilkley, Barnsley, and Beverley.
Read about the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire.
The 2018 Tour de France begins with the Grand Départ in the Vendée. It heads to Brittany, then the north of France, before a transfer to the Alps.
After the Alps comes the Massif Central and the south west, with a visit to Carcassonne.
The penultimate stage is a 31-km ITT, before the traditional finish in Paris.
© 2017 SpeedyHedgehog
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