The Inner Ring | Tour de France Stage-by-Stage

    Want all the Tour de France stage profiles on one page? Here you go with some commentary on each stage too.

    From now you can also find all these profiles and much more like race rules like time bonuses, the points scale for the green and polka-dot jerseys, time cuts and the prize money at bookmark it, or use the link from the menu at the top of the page.

    Stage 1 – Saturday 29 June

    Tirreno-Adriatico in a day, the race crosses the Apennines with a succession of climbs. With 3,600m of vertical gain, do we call this a mountain stage? Last July’s Basque opener went to the GC contenders and this is harder still. It will make for a nervous day with many worried the smallest of mistakes in positioning or handling could spoil everything.

    Stage 2 – Sunday 30 June

    Less mountainous than the previous day but with the best saved for last, two ascents of the spectacular Basilica di San Luca used in the one-day Giro dell’Emilia race before the finish in Bologna.

    Stage 3 – Monday 1 July

    A 230km stage, the longest of the race but with plenty to fill the airtime for TV viewers with talk of Paulo Conte, Fausto Coppi, or the wine and truffles of Alba before reaching Torino, or “Turin” to the French for a sprint, or “un sprint” as they say in French.

    Stage 4 – Tuesday 2 July

    Four days in and now a giant mountain stage to take the race back into France. Inevitable given the race has to get to France and they can hardly go via the coast to Nice. Still, they could have taken softer options. Instead it’s Sestriere and the Montgenèvre, they’re two long climbs you could drive a team bus up, ditto the Lautaret as well but you’ll have to park the bus here as here on it’s a much smaller road and steep as it passes 2,600m in altitude before the fast descent to Valloire, if a rider can crest this pass alone they’ve a good chance of staying away for the win.

    Stage 5 – Wednesday 3 July

    A sprint stage through the Alps rather than over them with some unmarked climbs along the way before a finish in Saint-Vulbas on the banks of the Rhone… and the shadow of the local nuclear power station.

    Stage 6 – Thursday 4 July

    A gourmet start in Macon passing plenty of vineyards and the home of chardonnay grapes plus more before a long procession to Dijon, mustard capital of France and beyond. All for a likely sprint.

    Stage 7 – Friday 5 July

    An important time trial amid the Beaujolais vineyards and on a course with some climbing and smaller roads.

    Stage 8 – Saturday 6 July

    A sprint stage but a tiring one on roads that rise and fall all the time. French TV will go big on the history perhaps leaving international viewers flummoxed as Colombey-les-deux-Églises is famous for Charles De Gaulle, the exiled war leader and two-time President who famously – in France at least – came to see the Tour go past in his retirement only for the race to stop and pay tribute, the first and only time it’s halted like this (there have been roadside protests, rider strikes and other incidents but not a decision just to stop, chat and then race on). Anyway expect to hear this story and get helicopter shots of the Lorraine Cross before the sprint trains gather speed.

    Stage 9 – Sunday 7 July

    The most northerly stage of this year’s race and it starts and finishes in the same place, rare for a grand tour stage. The headline is 14 sections of gravel totalling 32km, of which nine are kept for the final 70km. Gravel is a catch-all label for unpaved roads, here it’s the same roads used by the women in the 2022 Tour when Marlen Reusser won and Mavi Garcia had a nightmare. It provides spectacle – perfect for a Sunday far from the mountains – and also a talking point: a chance to copy-paste old “does pavé gravel belong in the Tour de France?” debates. Some GC riders will fear this stage and the fear of the fear will heighten anticipation. There is a random element where, the wheel of fortune for some might spin, for others it’ll puncture at the worst moment. The hardest part of the stage is in the first half.

    Stage 10 – Tuesday 9 July

    After the first rest day things ease into a sprint stage to Saint-Amand in the middle of France, literally so as Bruères-Allichamps is supposed to be one of the geographic centres of France. Normally a quiet day but the Tour came here in 2013, the wind got up and the peloton was cut to ribbons.

    Stage 11 – Wednesday 10 July

    A big day for the breakaway, this should see a fierce start that could rage for hours as the move fights to go clear. The second half if a copy of the 2016 stage won by Greg van Avermaet during his golden summer, taking the stage, yellow jersey and later on Olympic good so we’ll see who has ideas for the same here as they cross the Auvergne volcanos. It can also be a GC day as the Pas de Peyrol is a stiff climb.

    Stage 12 – Thursday 11 July

    200km to a sprint on a day with terrain that ought to encourage slow cycling and probably siestas for TV viewers amid scenery and – late arrival of summer permitting – sunflower fields.

    Stage 13 – Friday 12 July

    More siesta cycling is likely but the finish today has some climbs to spice things up before the inevitable, unavoidable finish in Pau but via a few late climbs.

    Stage 14 – Saturday 13 July

    Just 150km but packed with climbing. 70km on the flat is torture for the climbers hoping to go in the breakaway. Things start to climb with the Gavarnie valley leading to the towering Tourmalet. The charming Hourquette d’Ancizan is next before a descent to the valley and only a few kilometres on the valley floor before the surprisingly hard climb to Pla d’Adet with long 10-12% ramps at the start.

    Stage 15 – Sunday 14 July

    4,800m of vertical gain, the most of all the stages but here spread out over 198km and a 14 July festival. It’s up the Peyresourde via the steeper western side before the Menté and Portet d’Aspet via their steeper sides too. Next is the tricky Col d’Agnes which crosses over to the Port de Lers. A descent in two parts, the steep bit past the waterfall then it flattens out and then comes the valley floor, all plenty of time for the final drinks and gels. The Plateau de Beille summit finish has been called the Alpe d’Huez of the Pyrenees but that’s a stretch, it does start steep and has some wide hairpins but that’s about it, no ski resort at the top, just a car park – there’s a building… but it burned down recently – and no comparable views on the way. Selective though.

    Stage 16 – Tuesday 16 July

    A sprint stage with inevitable “watch out if the Tramontane and Mistral winds blow” warnings.

    Stage 17 – Wednesday 17 July

    This could be a stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné with the long Eygues valley road from Nyons to Gap, the Col Bayard and then the combo of the Col du Noyer and the Superdévoluy… the finish did feature in the 2016 Dauphiné, and then as now the Noyer is the superior climb, breathtaking twice over for the scenery and the 13% section before the top.

    Stage 18 – Thursday 18 July

    This could go to the sprinters as it’s not a mountain stage even if it’s in the middle of the Alps. But by now anyone who weighs 70kg or more knows this is their last chance for a stage win and teams will send rider after rider in the breakaway, think of last July’s hectic stage to Champagnole won by Matej Mohorič for the template. It rides past the Serre Ponçon lake, scenic for cyclists and a windy spot for kitesurfers before the Demoiselles Coiffées climb before the finish 3.9km at 5.2% to split things up further. The approach to Barcelonnette is not the main road but uses a trickier side road too.

    Stage 19 – Friday 19 July

    4,600m of vertical gain which is beaucoup for just 145km and where the opening 20km are flat. The Col de Vars is much harder than the 5.7% average suggests, you can spot the flat middle section and the opening part to the Col de la Viste is more like 10%. Then comes the mighty Cime de Bonette at 2,802m which is over an hour of climbing and a good part of this above 2,000m altitude, daunting and normally a slog but the short distance stage might tempt moves some, otherwise Isola 2000 is the most of the Col de la Lombarde and a steep but steady climb to the ski station used by plenty of Nice and Monaco pro cyclists for altitude training.

    Stage 20 – Saturday 20 July

    Plenty of déjà vu from Paris-Nice on a day with very little rest. On paper this promises more fireworks with long climbs and twisty descents. But could it be a stage too far if some GC contenders sit tight fearing the following day’s time trial? Or the second order effect that they might hold back on Stage 19 too so that they have reserves for Stage 20 in case they’re needed here and for the TT, a scenario we’ve seen in many a back-loaded Giro; a flat stage would be a harder sell. Fingers crossed it’s close on GC and everyone’s up for it. It could be easier in July than March with improved form, it could roasting hot too.

    Stage 21 – Sunday 21 July

    A time trial via the Col d’Eze, the old ending of Paris-Nice. Just in case you’re wondering why the Tour de France finishes in Nice instead of Paris, it’s because of the Olympics, not so much a calendar clash, more the Tour finishing elsewhere gives Parisian policiers a rest before a busy period.

    This is no parade-criterium stage but could be the race decider, that’s the dream scenario. It’s first time the race has ended with a time trial since 1989 when the Tour de France celebrated the 200th anniversary of the French revolution with a journey from Versailles to the capital and of course it was the closest-ever edition. The profile just doesn’t do the course justice, no way is it a level climb up and a fast descent back down, it’s more technical with plenty of rhythm changes and where taking the right line downhill wins time.

    Source link

    Related articles



    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Share article

    Latest articles


    Subscribe to stay updated.