tour, de, france, 2014, route, map

The route for the 2014 Tour de France was officially announced today, and features five high summit finishes, cobblestoned stages, and just the one time trial.

It certainly seems set to be a Tour for the climbers rather than specialists against the clock.

The latter will have to wait until the penultimate stage for the first and only time trial en route, a 54 kilometre effort from Bergerac to Perigueux.

The lack of a prologue, team time trial or other individual time trial mean this Tour features the least amount of kilometres raced against the clock since 1936.

After the already much celebrated Yorkshire Grand Depart and stage between Cambridge and London, the route does its usual thing of reversing the order of the major mountain ranges from last year with the Alps preceding the Pyrenees.

But the route includes many intriguing stages before it reaches its traditional battle grounds.

Most eye-catching of all is stage five's foray into cobbled territory, which sees riders tackle nine sections of pave totalling 15.4km, including iconic names from Paris-Roubaix like the Carrefour de l'Arbre and finishing in Arenberg.

Defending champion Chris Froome spoke of his fear of cobblestones prior to the route being officially announced and will not have relished these details.

As wells as these cobblestones, the riders will also face few challenging hills in the first half of the race, when the race hits the Vosges between stages eight and ten.

The first of these features three short, steep climbs in quick succession in the final 30 kilometres, the last of which will be a steep 1.8 kilometre blast of an uphill finish in Gerardmer.

Stage nine to Mulhouse is a touch more rolling, while stage 10 finishes atop the La Planche des Belle Filles, where Froome claimed his first ever Tour stage in 2012.

A succession of mountain top finishes await the peloton as it reaches the Alps, with an accent to Risoul in stage fourteen (on a day that also includes the Col d'Izoard) following stage thirteen's finish at Chamrousse.

There's little rest for the riders as the race reaches the Pyrenees three days later, beginning with the a stage that comes down off the tough Port de Balès to finish in Bagneres de Luchon.

The following two stages sees a return to the summit finish, however, with finishes at the Pla d'Adet and the Hautacam, both iconic and leg-sapping in equal measure. Interestingly, both these stages are less than 150 kilometres long, which could encourage aggressive racing.

These mark the last chances for the climbers to gain more time before the deceive time trial in the Dordogne area. The race then finishes the following day on Paris' Champs Elysees - back to its usual afternoon slot after 2013's spectacular evening showdown.

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1Sat Jul 5LeedsHarrogate191km
2Sun Jul 6YorkSheffield198km
3Mon Jul 7CambridgeLondon159km
4Tue Jul 8Le Touquet-Paris-PlageLille164km
5Wed Jul 9YpresArenberg Porte du Hainaut156km
6Thu Jul 10ArrasReims194km
7Fri Jul 11ÉpernayNancy233km
8Sat Jul 12TomblaineGérardmer161km
9Sun Jul 13GérardmerMulhouse166km
10Mon Jul 14MulhouseLa Planche des Belles Filles161km
Tues Jul 15
BesançonRow 11 - Cell 3 -
11Wed Jul 16BesançonOyonnax186km
12Thu Jul 17Bourg-en-BresseSaint-Étienne183km
13Fri Jul 18Saint-ÉtienneChamrousse200km
14Sat Jul 19GrenobleRisoul177km
15Sun Jul 20TallardNimes222km
Mon Jul 21
CarcassonneRow 17 - Cell 3 -
16Tue Jul 22CarcassonneBagnéres-de-Luchon237km
17Wed Jul 23Saint-GaudensSaint-Lary-Soulan125km
18Thu Jul 24PauHautacam145km
19Fri Jul 25Maubourguet Pays du Val d'AdourBergerac208km
20Sat Jul 26BergeracPérigueux54km
21Sun Jul 27ÉvryParis Champs-Élysées136km


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