13 years, 956km and 59 minutes: The Tour de France 2023 routes in numbers

The facts and the figures behind the men's and women's races next summer

Tour de France route
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There are just 241 days until the 120th Tour de France, and 264 until the second Tour de France Femmes. This might seem a long way away, and it is, but there has still been a lot of hype over the route announcements from last week.

The 2023 men's Tour looks set to be one for the climbers, as it features four summit finishes, including a return for the iconic Puy de Dôme climb for the first time since 1988.

There is just one time trial across the three-week event, a short uphill race against the clock from Passy to Combloux over 22km. There are also returns for other epic climbs like the Col de la Loze and the Grand Colombier.

Meanwhile, the Tour de France Femmes will step up another level in 2023, with a summit finish on the Col du Tourmalet and a final day individual time trial. 

Announced at a presentation inside Paris's Palais des Congrès last Thursday, the official route for the race’s second edition will be concentrated in the south and southwest of France, starting in Clermont-Ferrand before heading down into the Pyrenees, ending in Pau.

We thought it was well worth taking a look at some of the numbers behind the routes, now that we have had some time to digest them, and work out what they actually mean.

59:45

Stage seven will see the women's peloton go higher than they have so far in the Tour, with the monster Col du Tourmalet tackled. The famous climb is 16.75km long, with 1,241m of elevation gain in that time.

The best time up it to date, with thanks to Strava data, is 59-45, which is the time which Emma Pooley set up the climb. One imagines that this will probably be broken when the best climbers in the world head up it at the end of July; what will definitely be broken is the average climbing time of 1-37-11.

22km

The amount of time trialling in both the men's and the women's races. For the women, the time trial is a new feature, and could have a decisive effect on general classification. Meanwhile, the men's race sees its lowest amount of time trialling since 2015.

The women finish their race off with 22km against the clock in Pau, while the men will power along 22km on stage 16 to Combloux, which is pretty much a mountain TT.

177km

The distance of the Tour de France Femmes' longest stage, which will see the peloton head from Cahors to Rodez. It's two kilometres longer than the previous longest stage, which was won by Lorena Wiebes this year. However, the long day in the Lot region looks like it will be one for a puncheur rather than a pure sprinter.

Four

The amount of summit finishes in the men's Tour, which is actually one fewer than 2022. While it might be a very climb-heavy race, and there is little time trialling on offer, multiple days in the mountains actually finish with a downhill finish, which might encourage some attacking riding rather than the top riders waiting for the end.

2,304m

The altitude of the Col de la Loze, the men's Tour's highest point in 2023. The climb has been tackled once before, in 2020, when the day was won by Miguel Ángel López. It is just 7.01km in length, but there is 643m in elevation gain across it, which proves what a monster it is. Strava data shows that Tadej Pogačar rules the KoM at the moment, riding it in 23-18, while the average amateur rides it in 46-34.

On this stage, stage 17, the men will do a ridiculous 5,100m of climbing in one day.

209km

The longest stage of the men's Tour, 32km more than the longest women's stage, but still the shortest longest stage in the Tour's history. This tells you something about how the race is trying to fit in with fans who watch on television rather than those who would prefer epic back-to-back stages.

This is going to be a particularly crazy day, actually, as the stage will head from Vitoria-Gasteiz to San Sebastian in the heart of the Basque Country. Expect a million fans.

13 years

Bordeaux is the Tour de France's second most-visited city, after Paris obviously, but has been absent from the route for a long 13 years. Last time the race visited, Mark Cavendish won here, and he'll be hoping to do the same again, if he has a team.

Other places making a comeback after a long time include the iconic Puy de Dôme climb, which will be raced for the first time since 1988.

74

After it missed out in 2022, which must have been odd for the town, the Tour returns to Pau for the 74th time as it skips through the Pyrenees. It doesn't spend long there, with four other mountain ranges to deal with, but it has to go to the heart of the region.

956km

The distance in total of the Tour de France Femmes, which is so close to 1000km it makes one wonder if they couldn't have just bodged it so it worked... This year's managed it, with 1033km, so it's only the time trial which is holding it back. There is a debate to be had over the race being longer - it probably should be - but this course looks pretty good.

Meanwhile the men will race 3404km, which sounds a lot more intimidating, and is more than in 2022. It is nowhere near, however, the 5,745km ridden in 1926.

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