The 2020 Tour de France route was officially revealed in October 2019, but cycling fans will have to wait longer than usual to see the world’s biggest bike race in action.
The coronavirus pandemic, which has disrupted life and business around the world, has meant sporting events including the Tour have been postponed. The race won’t take place in its original June 27 to July 19 slot, instead provisionally scheduled to run from August 29 to September 20, should the coronavirus pandemic restricitions allow it to go ahead.
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The route of the 107th edition is still set to stay the same, starting in Nice and ending in the French capital, Paris.
Tour de France 2020 route
Perhaps the most striking feature of the route is the individual time trial, racing to the summit of La Planches de Belles Filles on the penultimate day.
This year’s race will also feature a fascinating mix of overall contenders, with defending champion, Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) being the sole leader for the team with Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) and Chris Froome (Ineos Grenadiers) not riding and instead riding Tirreno-Adriatico before heading to the Giro d’Italia and La Vuelta a España.
Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) may also relish this year’s course after heartbreak last year, while Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale), who was originally down to ride the Giro, will take to the startline in his last Tour riding in the Ag2r colours.
The 107th edition will feature eight mountain stages with four summit finishes, nine flat stages, three hilly stages, and one individual time trial on the penultimate day. The race takes on mountains in the Alps, the Massif Central, the Pyrenees, the Jura and the Vosges across the three weeks.
The route moves from the Grand Départ in Nice northwards for an early summit finish to Ocières-Merlette at 1,875m in the Hautes-Alps on stage four. It will then head west through central France and down to the Pyrenees for two mountainous stages to Loudenvielle and Laruns.
The race will then transfer north to Le Charente Maritime for its first rest day before resuming on the west coast where crosswinds could feature. It will then again head through the centre of France and the Massif Central with a gruelling summit finish to Puy Mary. As it heads towards its climax riders will take on a summit finish to Grand Colombier in the Jura mountains before the race heads into the Alps for finishes to Méribel and La Roche-sur-Foron.
The Tour then heads north with a transition stage and culminates with a time trial up the steep slopes of La Planche des Belles Filles in the Vosges. The climb featured as a summit finish in the 2019 edition.
The race will conclude with its traditional run in to Paris and the Champs-Élysées.
Tour de France 2020 route
|1||Sat August 29||Nice Moyen Pays||Nice||156km||Flat|
|2||Sun August 30||Nice Haut Pays||Nice||187km||Mountain|
|3||Mon August 31||Nice||Sisteron||198km||Flat|
|4||Tues Sept 1||Sisteron||Orcières-Merlette||157km||Hilly|
|5||Weds Sept 2||Gap||Privas||183km||Flat|
|6||Thurs Sept 3||Le Teil||Mount Aigoual||191km||Hilly|
|7||Fri Sept 4||Millau||Lavaur||168km||Hilly|
|8||Sat Sept 5||Cazères-sur-Garonne||Loudenvielle||140km||Mountain|
|9||Sun Sept 6||Pau||Laruns||154km||Mountain|
|Rest day||Mon Sept 7||Charente-Maritimes|
|10||Tues Sept 8||The Château d’Oleron||Saint-Martin-de-Ré||170km||Flat|
|11||Weds Sept 9||Châtelaillon-Plage||Poitiers||167km||Flat|
|12||Thurs Sept 10||Chauvigny||Sarran Corrèze||218km||Hilly|
|13||Fri Sept 11||Châtel-Guyon||Puy Mary Cantal||191km||Mountain|
|14||Sat Sept 12||Clermont-Ferrand||Lyon||197km||Flat|
|15||Sun Sept 13||Lyon||Grand Colombier||175km||Mountain|
|Rest day||Mon Sept 14||Isère|
|16||Tues Sept 15||La Tour-du-Pin||Villard-de-Lans||164km||Mountain|
|17||Weds Sept 16||Grenoble||Col de la Loze||168km||Mountain|
|18||Thurs Sept 17||Méribel||La-Roche-sur-Foron||168km||Mountain|
|19||Fri Sept 18||Bourg-en-Bresse||Champagnole||160km||Flat|
|20||Sat Sept 19||Lure||Planche de Belles Filles||36km||Time trial|
|21||Sun Sept 20||Mantes-la-Jolie||Paris (Champs-Élysées)||122km||Flat|
Every French mountain range included with late mountain time trial
The race will traverse every one of France’s mountain ranges, routing up and over 29 categorised climbs along the way.
There will be a total of six mountain finishes, and the organisers have shoehorned in some gravel on the Plateau de Glières, during stage 18.
The nature of the race shows its true colours early, too – with the first mountain stage as early as day two, during the Grand Depart in Nice.
There’s no letting up. Stage four concludes with a summit finish on Orcières-Merlette, which last featured 30-years ago in 1989. The 11km climb averages at 5.9 per cent, and though it’s far from the hardest of the race, should give us a glimpse into what’s to come.
The organisers have avoided summit finishes in the Pyrenees, but the planned parcours will be far from plain sailing. Stage eight send the peloton up the Col de Menté, the Porte de Balès and the Col de Peyresourde all in one day.
Following the rest day, stage 10 from Château d’Oleron to Saint-Martin-de-Ré is flat, but the 170km route may be enlivened by strong winds at the coast.
Stage 17 is the queen stage. Travelling from Grenoble to Méribel, the route will showcase the purpose built ‘cyclist’s road’, which leads to the peak of the Col de la Loze. If that wasn’t enough, riders will also climb the Col de la Madeleine on their way to the final ascent.
The following day sees the riders tackle a string of climbs: the Cormet de Roseland, Col des Saisies, Col des Aravis and Plateau de Glières and La-Roche-sur-Foron
Even the time trial will be one for the mountain goats, covering 36km and concluding at the peak of the Planche de Belles Filles. The meat of the stage will be the climb, which is 5.9km long and averages at 8.5 per cent.
With the race against the clock taking place on stage 20, the fight for the yellow jersey could be ongoing until the very end. Being the only time trial stage of the race, the draw for traditional testers may be limited.
Tour de France 2020 route: Stage-by-stage
Stage one, August 29: Nice to Nice (170km)
The first stage will be a 170km route suited to the sprinters, starting and finishing in Nice.
But it will not be a straight run for the fast men, with four tough climbs scattered along the way and a fast finishing circuit to conclude.
Taking in many of the same roads as Paris-Nice, the opening stage will finish on the famous Promenade des Anglais on the seafront.
The opening stage of the race was a war of attrition as almost every rider crashed in the horrendous weather conditions.
Only the hardest of riders come to the top of the pile in these sort of conditions and it was Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) who prevailed in taking the first yellow jersey of this year’s race.
Stage two, August 30: Nice to Nice (190km)
Stage two will be a major departure from the traditional opening of the Tour, heading to the mountains on only the second day.
Over 190km, the peloton will race over four cols, including the high summits of the Col de la Colmiane and the Col de Turini.
Stage two saw a dramatic change, in both terrain and weather. The sunshine will have been welcomed by the wounded riders who didn’t abandon after day one.
Yellow was passed on by Kristoff to Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) who attacked on the final climb with Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb), later joined by Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott).
Alaphilippe took the stage and yellow on the final day in Nice.
Stage three, August 31: Nice to Sisteron (198km)
A flat stage that should end in a sprint finish. The climbs come a bit early to cause any lasting damage, but it could maybe drain the legs on the purist of fast men.
This long stage saw a rather uneventful day with a three-man break turning into a solo move as Jerôme Cousin (Total Direct Energie) pushed on away from the bickering Anthony Perez (Cofidis) and the Polka-dot jersey, Benoît Cosnefroy.
Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) opened his account of wins on the day with Alaphilippe staying in yellow.
Stage four, September 1: Sisteron to Ocières-Merlette (157km) – summit finish
The race makes a brief foray into the Hautes-Alps with a summit finish to the ski resort of Ocières-Merlette at 1,875m.
The first summit finish will most likely give us the first real look at who the top riders will be.
The first mountain stage gave us the first showing of form in the favourites with Jumbo-Visma looking very strong on the final climb with a mountain leadout for Primož Roglič who did not disappoint.
Roglič took the stage ahead of fellow Slovenian, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) with Alaphilippe remaining in yellow.
Stage five, September 2: Gap to Privas (183km)
The riders head into Province and towards the Rhones Valley where a sprint finish should take place in Privas.
Likely to be a sprint, but may suit the stronger riders with the finish on an uphill ramp.
Only a day after giving his all for Roglič, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) tried his hand at sprinting with great success, taking the stage ahead of Cees Bol (Team Sunweb) and Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) who went into green.
But drama overshadowed Van Aerts success as Alaphilippe was penalised 20 seconds for taking a bottle inside 20km to go, meaning Adam Yates became the ninth Brit to pull on the yellow jersey.
Stage six, September 3: Le Teil to Mont Aigoual (191km)
The riders will climb steep roads to a plateau and towards the finish of stage six. There’s 15km between the final ascent and the finish which should make for an unpredictable stage.
The penultimate climb also has bonus seconds available so may encourage an earlier move.
A day that had all the hype but no drama. It was a day for the breakaway and the Kazakh champion, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), took his chance with both hands, going solo with over the top of the final climb.
Behind, no attacks or any suggestion of a move were made and Yates remained in yellow.
Stage seven, September 4: Millau to Lavaur (168km)
Wind could rip this stage up, but it looks like and out and out sprint stage with all the climbs being taken care of early on in the day.
Today saw Bora-Hansgrohe rip the race apart as they wanted to get Peter Sagan back in green, which they managed to do by splitting the peloton from the start.
Bora succeeded in this but couldn’t take the stage when Sagan had a late mechanical and it was Van Aert that became the first rider to double up with wins at this year’s race.
Pogačar, Mikel Landa (Bahrain-McLaren) and Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) all lost time in the crosswinds late on.
Stage eight, September 5: Cazères to Loudenvielle (141km)
The first stage in the Pyrenees will see riders take on the Col de Menté followed by the Port de Balès and the Col de Peyresourde before a downhill run to the finish.
Another breakaway day saw Nans Peters (Ag2r La Mondiale) attack with Ilnur Zakarin (CCC Team) on the climbs but Zakarin was unable to follow on the descents and Peters went clear to his second ever career victory.
In the peloton the riders riding for the GC showed their first attacks with Pogačar attacking clear and gaining a small amount of time back on his rivals with Yates remaining in yellow.
Stage nine, September 6: Pau to Laruns (154km)
Another brutal climbing day in the Pyrenees comes straight after the last, with a stage that takes in the Col de la Hourcère, the Col de Soudet and the steep Col de Marie Blanque before heading down to Laruns for the finish.
Another day and another epic ride. Marc Hirschi went solo with around 80km and was caught with 2km to go by Roglič, Pogačar, Landa and Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) who had attacked over the top of the final climb.
Pogačar took the stage in the sprint ahead of Roglič and Hirschi. Seeing Roglič go into yellow just before the first rest day.
Rest day, September 7: Le Charente Maritime
Stage 10, September 8: Île d’Oléron to Île de Ré (170km)
Crosswinds will almost certainly disrupt this flat stage between two islands on the west coast. Surely this is a sprint finish set in stone, but the overall favourites will have to be alert to the danger of echelons.
A stressful day that saw several crashes but it was the day that Sam Bennett finally took his first Tour de France stage and also going back into the green jersey.
Stage 11, September 9: Châtelaillon-Plage to Poitiers (167km)
A straightforward flat stage should give the sprinters an opportunity as the races heads inland.
Another hectic finale saw four riders challenge for victory in the shape of Ewan, Bennett, Van Aert and Sagan.
Ewan pipped Sagan to the line but Sagan was later penalised to last place for shunting Van Aert out of the way, moving Bennett up to 2nd.
Stage 12, September 10: Chauvigny to Sarran (218km)
The longest stage of the Tour will also be a hilly affair and be a harsh test for riders. With a summit finish to follow the next day a breakaway could stay away.
The day that was down to go for an early breakaway to go all the way but Peter Sagan had other ideas as he tried to take points back on Bennett but the riders eventually went away in the closing 60km.
Marc Hirschi kicked on solo again with 40km to go and finally held on taking his first career win and Team Sunweb’s first of this year’s race. Behind, Sagan did managed to steal a couple of points but nothing major with Bennett keeping green.
Stage 13, September 11: Châtel-Guyon to Puy Mary (191km) – summit finish
The route through the Massif Central will see a first ever summit finish to Puy Mary. With 4,400m of climbing on the stage, riders will have to tackled the Col de Ceyssat and the Col de Neronne before the summit finish.
It was breakaway success with Dani Martínez (EF Pro Cycling) beating two Bora-Hansgrohe riders, Max Schachmann and Lennard Kämna to the line on the hellishly steep finish.
Roglič and Pogačar kicked clear behind, dropping everyone including defending champion, Egan Bernal.
Stage 14, September 12: Clermont Ferrand to Lyon (197km)
A long stage with enough climbing to make it an unpredictable tussle between the breakaway and the sprinters. Three climbs – the Côtedela Duchère, the Montée de l’Observance and the Côte de la Croix-Rousse – close to Lyon will make this a tricky finale.
Another day where Sagan and Bora looked to break Bennett for green but another failed attempt as Søren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) took advantage a lull in pace to go solo to the line, Sagan only managing 4th.
Stage 15, September 13: Lyon to Grand Colombier (175km) – summit finish
The race resumes in Lyon the next day with a summit finish to the well-trodden climb of Grand Colombier in the Jura mountain range.
Bernal lost over seven minutes on this stage with Jumbo-Visma ripping the race apart. Only Pogačar was able to beat Roglič to the line, closing the gap to 40 in GC.
Rest day, September 14: Isère
Stage 16, September 15: La Tour-du-Pin to Villard-de-Lans (164km)
There’s no easy reintroduction into the race following the second rest day with a mountainous stage that includes the Col de Porte ahead of the finish.
Another break and another win. Kämna finally got his and Bora’s win with a superb solo move, much like his win on the penultimate day of the Critérium du Dauphiné, exactly a month earlier.
Roglič didn’t have any drama to deal with aside from a strong late move by Miguel Ángel López (Astana) where the Colombian stole a couple of seconds back.
Stage 17, September 16: Grenoble to Méribel – Col de la Loze (168km) – summit finish
The race heads into the Alps proper with a summit finish to the Méribel up the Col de la Loze (2,304m) on a newly built road for cyclists that looks spectacular. Riders will have to traverse the HC Col de la Madeleine en route,
The final climb obliterated the peloton thanks to it’s gradients and the work done by Bahrain-McLaren on the lower slopes.
Roglič and Pogačar were watching each other which allowed López to have a go with Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma). Kuss dropped back to his leader, allowing López to go clear to victory.
Roglič managed to pull 15 seconds out of Pogačar on the final slopes to the finish with other GC riders losing all hopes of a top 10 with riders like Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) losing over 20 minutes.
Stage 18, September 17: Méribel to La Roche-sur-Foron (168m)
With over 4,000m of climbing, the race take on the Cormet de Roseland which was omitted in 2019 following landslides. The stage then heads over the Col des Saisies, Les Aravis and the Plateau des Glières before the line in La Roche-sur-Foron.
A huge break eventually came down to just two riders from the same team. Richard Carapaz and Michał Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers) went clear on the Glières climb that saw Carapaz take the mountains jersey.
They rolled to the finish and it was Kwiatkowski who took the stage ahead of his team mate. Roglič kept yellow but the top 10 in GC had a rejig with Yates, Urán and Valverde all losing time.
Stage 19, September 18: Bourg-en-Bresse to Champagnole (160km)
A sprint stage should allow the GC riders to take stock ahead of a difficult and unusual penultimate stage.
Stage 20, September 19: Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles (ITT) (36km)
The competitive racing for the overall concludes with a 36km individual time trial to the top of La Planche des Belles Filles. The climb returns for a second consecutive year however riders will not go as far as 2019, finishing before the start of the gravel road. At 5.9km and 8.3 per cent average gradient, this final test could be decisive in the final GC standings.
Stage 21, September 20: Mantes-La-Jolie to Paris (Champs-Élysées) (122km)
The race concludes with it’s usual finish to the centre of the French capital. The sprint is always a certainty with a possibility of the green jersey coming down to this final day.