The Tour de France 2019 route has been revealed and it will feature five mountain-top finishes.
The 106th edition of the Tour de France covers 3,460 kilometres and celebrates 100 years of the maillot jaune. The race also honours Eddy Merckx with its Grand Départ from Brussels.
After the race has begun in Belgium with a flat stage and team time trial, it heads into northern France for further sprint and punchy climbing stages before it reaches its first proper GC test in the Voges Mountains.
From there the race will transfer south through the Massif Central and into the Pyrenees, where riders will face an individual time trial and two mountain stages, including a finish to the top of the Tourmalet.
The route then transfers across the south coast where it resumes in Nîmes, and begins its way into the Alps via Gap.
From there the riders will face the final crucial stages in the overall, with three tough mountain stages that will include the Col d’Izoard, Col du Galibier and Col d’Iseran. The race culminates with a finish to the ski resort of Val Thorens on stage 20, a long climb of over 33km.
Tour de France 2019: the stages
|1||Saturday, July 6||Brussels – Brussels||192km|
|2||Sunday, July 7||Brussels Palais Royal – Brussels Atomium||27km (TTT)|
|3||Monday, July 8||Binche – Épernay||214km|
|4||Tuesday, July 9||Reims – Nancy||215km|
|5||Wednesday, July 10||Saint-Dié-des-Vosges – Colmar||169km|
|6||Thursday, July 11||Mulhouse – La Planche des Belles Filles||157km|
|7||Friday, July 12||Belfort –Chalon-sur-Saône||230km|
|8||Saturday, July 13||Mâcon – Saint-Étienne||199km|
|9||Sunday, July 14||Saint-Étienne – Brioude||170km|
|10||Monday, July 15||Saint-Flour – Albi||218km|
|Rest day||Tuesday, July 16||Albi||—|
|11||Wednesday, July 17||Albi – Toulouse||167km|
|12||Thursday, July 18||Toulouse – Bagnères-de-Bigorre||202km|
|13||Friday, July 19||Pau – Pau||27km (ITT)|
|14||Saturday, July 20||Tarbes – Tourmalet||(117km)|
|15||Sunday, July 21||Limoux – Foix||185km|
|Rest Day||Monday, July 22||Nîmes||–|
|16||Tuesday, July 23||Nîmes – Nîmes||177km|
|17||Wednesday, July 24||Pont du Gard – Gap||206km|
|18||Thursday, July 25||Embrun – Valloire||207km|
|19||Friday, July 26||Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne – Tignes||123km|
|20||Saturday, July 27||Albertville – Val Thorens||131km|
|21||Sunday, July 28||Rambouillet – Paris (Champs-Élysées)||127km|
Tour de France 2019: stage-by-stage
Stage one, July 6: Brussels – Brussels (192km)
Flat stage starting in Belgium that should end in a sprint finish.
Stage two, July 7: Brussels Palais Royal – Brussels Atomium (27km, team time trial)
An early crucial team time trial that could split the GC contenders early on.
Stage three, July 8: Binche – Épernay (214km)
The Tour leaves Belgium for northern France with a hilly route that looks to have a punchy kick to the line.
Stage four, July 9: Reims – Nancy (215km)
A day for a bunch sprint, with the finish line located at the end of a 1.5km straight.
Stage five, July 10: Saint-Dié-des-Vosges – Colmar (169km)
A first hilly stage that could suit a breakaway or the punchy climbers as the race heads into the Vosges mountains.
Stage six, July 11: Mulhouse – La Planche des Belles Filles (157km)
The first mountain stage proper with a now regular finish to La Planche des Belles Filles given a makeover with an extended dirt track to the top.
Stage seven, July 12: Belfort – Chalon-sur-Saône (230km)
The longest stage of the race, the riders will travel through Ornans. A breakaway will have to work hard to stay clear of the sprinter’s teams as they hurtle towards the finish.
Stage eight, July 13: Mâcon – Saint-Étienne (199km)
Another lumpy that will be a real test with so many classified and unclassified climbs.
Stage nine, July 14: Saint-Étienne – Brioude (170km)
A hilly day that could suit the likes of Peter Sagan if it culminates in a reduced bunch finish.
Stage 10, July 15: Saint-Flour – Albi (218km)
A stage that could be won by a sprinter or a breakaway rider, the peloton will spend most of the day at over 1,000 metres in altitude.
Rest day, July 16
Stage 11, July 17: Albi – Toulouse (167km)
Another flat stage which leads riders over rolling roads with the Pyrenees a distant view in the background, a bunch sprint is a likely outcome.
Stage 12, July 18: Toulouse – Bagnères-de-Bigorre (202km)
A first mountain test in the Pyrenees with ascents of the Peyresourde and the Hourquette d’Ancizan before a downhill finish.
Stage 13, July 19: Pau – Pau (27km)
Riders face a crucial, hilly individual time trial.
Stage 14, July 20: Tarbes – Tourmalet (117km)
A short but huge day for the riders with a high summit finish on the top of the legendary Col du Tourmalet.
Stage 15, July 21: Limoux – Foix (185km)
No easy welcome after the rest day for the riders as they head straight back into the mountains with a summit finish to Foix.
Rest day, July 22
Stage 16, July 23: Nîmes – Nîmes (177km)
This out-and-back day is a flat one, giving the sprinter’s an opportunity to battle it out at the finish.
Stage 17, July 24: Pont du Gard – Gap (206km)
A hilly day in preparation for what’s to come – riders crest the 6km Col de la Sentinelle with 10km left to race. The 5 per cent slops mean that we’re likely to see a smaller group contest the win in Gap.
Stage 18, July 25: Embrun – Valloire (207km)
The race heads into the Alps with another gruelling stage that takes on the Col de Vars, Col d’Izoard, Col du Galibier before a finish in the town of Valloire.
Stage 19, July 26: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne – Tignes (123km)
The second stage in the Alps sees riders face day of almost all uphill, with a long climb up to the Col de l’Iseran before the final summit finish to Tignes.
Stage 20, July 27: Albertville – Val Thorens (131km)
The grand finale of the race proper culminates at the ski station of Val Thorens. A rarely used climb, it’s gruelling length will be more telling than the gradients.
Stage 21, July 28: Rambouillet – Paris (Champs-Élysées) (127km)
A traditional finish in Paris which will finish with a sprint on the Champs-Élysées.
Tour de France 2019: opening stages
The Tour will open in Brussels with a 192km stage that should culminate in a sprint despite the inclusion of the Tour of Flanders’ famous cobbled climb, the Muur van Geraardsbergen.
The start in Brussels celebrates the 50th anniversary of Eddy Merckx’s first yellow jersey, with a team time trial on stage two also taking place entirely in the Belgian city.
The 27km TTT will potentially cause some GC splits early on, and teams will need to be well drilled to keep their leader in contention early on.
As the race leaves Belgium and heads into northern France, the sprinters will get their opportunities, with bunch finishes likely on the way to Épernay and Nancy on stages three and four.
Tour de France 2019: Vosges Mountains
The race hits its first proper hills as it heads into the Vosges Mountains.
The 169km to Colmar will be a tough test with numerous climbs in the final 50km, which could suit a breakaway or the punchy Ardennes style riders for an attack before a flat finish.
The first GC test come the next day though, with a now regularly featured finish to La Planche des Belles Filles. The 5.5km climb’s steep slopes have seen some memorable battles in recent years, but this year it comes with an added twist. The organisers confirmed that the race will now go a further kilometre to the top of the climb along a dirt road which will kick up to 20 per cent gradients.
The race will then head south with three more stages before rest day, with a sprint stage to Chalon-sur-Saône and tricky days in the Massif Central.
Tour de France 2019: into the Pyrenees
The race then makes it’s way towards the Pyrenees with two further transition stages following the rest day, before hitting the range where riders will tackle three mountain stages with an individual time trial thrown in the mix as well.
The opening mountains on stage 12 will take the peloton from Toulouse to the top of the Col de Peyresourde before a final climb of the Hourquette d’Ancizan. From there it’ll be fast finish with a descent down into Bagnères-de-Bigorre.
A rolling time trial will follow the next day. At 27km, it is far from a testing length for many riders, but it will cover some hilly and rolling terrain that will mean GC contenders will need to be on top of their form to not lose crucial seconds.
The next day will then be a real celebration of the Tour and the yellow jersey. The 14th stage will begin in Tarbes before heading to the summit of the Col du Soulor, then dropping down the descent to the foot of the Col du Tourmalet. The stage will then feature a spectacular finish to the top of the Tourmalet, the Tour’s most used climb, which tops out at 2,115m.
Another gruelling stage appears on stage 15, with 185km over three classified passes before a summit finish to Foix.
Tour de France 2019: showdown in the Alps
After the final rest day in Nîmes, the Tour makes its way up to the Alps for the grand finale of the race.
Two sprint stages on stage 16 and 17 will happen beforehand, the first out and back from Nîmes, and the second from the Roman aqueduct, the Pont du Gard to the gateway to the Alps at Gap.
The next day on stage 18 will see the first decisive Alpine stage, with a savage looking 207km that finishes in the town of Valloire, which sits between the top of the Col du Télégraph and the foot of the Col du Galibier.
To get there, riders will have to climb from Embrun to the top of the Col de Vars (2,109m) and the Col d’Izoard (2,360m) before dropping down to the town of Briançon. They will then climb to the summit of the Galibier (2,642m) via the passage of the Col du Lautaret, before a final descent to the finish in Valloire.
A short 123km stage follows on stage 19, with a tough uphill test that takes in three categorised climbs before a summit finish to Tignes (2,089m). The riders will first have to climb over the Alps’ highest paved road, the Col de l’Iseran (2,770m) before the final climb.
The final fight out in the Alps on stage 20 will begin in Albertville, with a summit finish to the ski resort of Val Thorens (2,365m). The long 33.4km climb to Val Thorens is scarcely used, just once 25 years ago, and will hurt riders more with it’s monstrous length than any savage gradient. Two climbs come beforehand however, with the Cormet de Roseland opening the stage before the Côte de Longfoy.
With the race decided in the Alps, riders will then transfer to Paris for stage 21 and the final precession to the Champs-Élysées, which will more than likely end in a bunch sprint for the line.