Details of the route for the 2019 edition are beginning to surface
The 2019 Tour de France is due to start in Brussels on July 6 and could feature a return to Ventoux as well as a potentially pivotal mountain stage on the penultimate day.
The route will start abroad, unlike the 2018 edition which enjoyed a Grand Départ in France’s Vendée. It will then reportedly travel south through Champagne, before making its visit to Ventoux – the mountain which enjoyed Chris Froome’s famous running antics back in 2016.
Brussels will host the start of the race. The home of Eddy Merckx plays host on the 50th anniversary of his first Tour de France win, in 1969.
Organiser ASO has already given the details for stages one and two. The opening stage will include an ascent of the famous Muur van Geraardsbergen and in stage two, the teams will cover 28 kilometres in a time trial.
From the opening weekend in Belgium, the Tour’s route remains an unknown, but early rumours are starting to surface, giving a rough idea what the riders will face in 2019.
Binche, the Belgian city which hosts the Binche-Chimay-Binche race, could be the home of the third stage. The city is bidding to be the start location for ASO’s Flèche Wallonne in 2019, too. It would see the riders cross the border to Champagne territory and Reims.
The 2019 route is expected to travel east towards Lyon, including one stage in the Jura Mountains along the way.
The race will likely visit the Pyrénées first in 2019 after ending in the Spanish/French mountains in 2018, and may return to Andorra. Toulouse is due to host the Tuesday stage after the rest day that could end at Ax 3 Domains.
Mont Ventoux could return as the race heads to Gap for its second rest day. Thomas De Gendt won in 2016, but ASO left on a sour note when high winds forced a shortened finishing climb. A motorbike incident took down yellow jersey Chris Froome, who famously ran up the climb before getting a new bike.
The Tour would criss-cross the country’s south and rack up the miles between stages, but 2018 showed that the organiser is not worried about the caravan using fuel on long transfers. Gap would open the final chapter, which appears mostly unwritten.
Embrun could host a stage start on the shore of the lake and the race is expected to spend two days in the Haute-Alpes.
Adam Yates could be happy with the Le Bettex climb to Saint-Gervais. The Brit won on the Mont Blanc slopes in the 2018 Critérium du Dauphiné. The Tour last visited here in 2016, when Romain Bardet won the stage and jumped from fifth to second overall.
As in 2016, the organiser could put the second time trial midway into the final week and close the testing stages with climbs. After a transfer, the riders will race the final day on Paris’s Champs-Élysées on July 28.
The final route will be announced by ASO on October 23, at the Palais des Congrès in Paris that Tuesday – but we’ll update this page with updates as they come.
Keep checking back for more updates