The race runs from Saturday July 6 to Sunday July 28 and will feature it’s usual 21 stages with two rest days after stages 10 and 15.
The Tour de France 2019 kicks off in Belgium, a return to foreign starts for the race after a home start in Vendée in 2018.
The opening two stages both start and finish in the city of Brussels, with the opening stage a likely bunch finish that should see a sprinter claim the first yellow jersey of the race.
The second stage is a 28km team time trial in the city, which will be the first stage that could see splits between the GC contenders.
The Tour starts in Belgium to celebrate the 50th anniversary of five-time winner Eddy Merckx’s first victory, while the entire race will celebrate the centenary of the maillot jaune, or yellow jersey.
From Brussels the race then heads southward into France with some sprint stages and into the Vosges Mountains. Here the riders will face their first test to the mountain-top finish of La Planche des Belles Filles.
Tough medium mountain stages await them on their way through the Massif Central, before they hit the Pyrenees for three high mountain stages and an individual time trial. On stage 14, the Tour de France will finish on the summit of the Col du Tourmalet, the most used climb in the history of the race.
The Tour de France peloton at the Col du Tourmalet (Sunada)
Following the Pyrenees, the Tour will head along the south coast to Nîmes, where transition stages will take the riders into the Alps via Gap. Some huge stages feature here, with riders traversing the Alps’ highest paved road on the Col d l’Iseran as well as more Tour favourites including the Col d’Izoard and the Col du Galibier.
The final competitive stage for the yellow jersey will finish to the ski resort of Val Thorens, a rarely used climb that will provide a grand stage for the final showdown.
The race will then take to its traditional finish in Paris along the Champs-Élysées.
Tour de France 2019 classifications
The standard classifications and jerseys will once again feature: yellow jersey for the overall classification, polka-dots for the mountains classification, green for the points classification and white for the best young rider classification.
A combativity prize will be awarded to the most aggressive rider each day, while a super-combativity prize will be awarded to a rider at the end of the Tour.
The four jersey winners of the 2018 Tour de France (Sunada)
Bonus seconds will once again be distributed on the finish line with 10, six and three seconds available to each of the first three across the line on each stage.
The organisers have also chosen to introduce bonus seconds on climbs along the course, with seconds awarded to the first riders across the top of the following climbs first:
Stage three: Côte de Mutigny
Stage six: Col des Chevrères
Stage eight: Côte de la Jaillière
Stage nine: Côte de Saint-Just
Stage 12: Hourquette d’Ancizan
Stage 15: Mur de Péguère
Stage 18: Col du Galibier
Stage 19: Col de l’Iseran
Tour de France 2019 teams and riders
As with 2018, 22 teams will take to the start of the Tour de France, with the field made up of the 18 WorldTour teams plus four wildcard picks from the organisers, ASO. Each team will have eight riders, totalling 176 riders on the start line.
None of the podium finishers have confirmed their attendance for 2019 so far, but Thomas could return to defend his title in a joint leadership role with Froome.
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) will almost certainly return to try and add to his stage tally of 11 and add a seventh green jersey to his palmarès.
Last year’s king of the mountains and double stage winner Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) could also reappear at his home race, as well as fellow Frenchman Romain Bardet and last year’s best young rider, Pierre Latour (both Ag2r La Mondiale).
Former podium finisher Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) could return to the Tour after opting to race the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España in 2018.
Dylan Groenewegen wins a bunch sprint at the 2018 Tour de France (Sunada)
The sprinter field will once again be stacked with the world’s best fast-men, with 30-time stage winner Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) aiming to return from illness to full form at the race. He’ll likely face opposition from Sagan, Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin), Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates), Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), among others.