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.
The race will start on foreign soil for the second year in a row, with a Grand Départ in the Spanish Basque Country, the setting for the race's 120th anniversary. Two hilly stages in Spain then follow, before the peloton crosses the border into France for a stage finish in Bayonne on day three.
After visiting Pau for the 74th time on stage five, the race's first real mountain test comes on stage six, leaving Tarbes and cresting the Col d’Aspin and Col du Tourmalet before a summit finish in Cauterets.
On stage seven, the Tour’s second most visited city, Bordeaux, will welcome its first stage finish since 2010, when Mark Cavendish claimed his 14th of a record 34 stage wins. Leaving nearby Libourne the next day, stage eight will head east on a 201km slog to Limoges.
Before the first rest day, the riders will wind up to the summit of the Puy de Dôme, a dormant lava dome which hasn’t featured in the Tour for 35 years. They’ll then enjoy a well-earned day off in Clermont-Ferrand before continuing their passage through the Massif Central.
France’s national holiday, 14 July, will be celebrated next year with a summit finish on the Grand Colombier, the site of Tadej Pogačar’s second stage win back in 2020. From there, the mountains keep coming. The riders will climb over the Col de Joux Plaine to Morzine on stage 14, before another mountaintop test in Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc the next day.
The sole individual time trial comes on stage 16, when a hilly 22km dash from Passy to Combloux will give the GC contenders a chance to force time gaps. The following day will bring the stage with the highest elevation gain, counting 5000m of climbing en route to the Courchevel altiport, via the Cormet de Roselend and the monstrous Col de la Loze.
On stages 18 and 19, the sprinters are expected to come to the fore, with flat finishes in Bourg-en-Bresse and Poligny.
The penultimate stage will play out in the country’s most easterly region, ascending the Petit Ballon, Col du Platzerwasel and finishing in Le Markstein, as the Tour de France Femmes did last year.
The riders will then undertake a 500km transfer to the outskirts of Paris for the curtain-closing stage. The final day will start at France’s national velodrome in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, the track cycling venue for the 2024 Olympics, and will conclude with the customary laps of the capital’s Champs-Elysées.
The 2023 Tour de France will begin on 1 July, with the winner crowned in Paris on 23 July.
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