The Tour de France kicks off in Düsseldorf this year with a 14km time trial, and a week one route that will please the sprinters and give us a GC battle.
With the world’s top sprinters all in attendance this year, stages two, four and six look like dead certs for a fast finish, but who will come out on top?
With so few time trial kilometres and just three summit finishes over the whole of this year’s race, the GC contest is likely to be a close fought one, and fans won’t have to wait long for things to get going.
The summit finish to La Planche des Belles Filles has on both previous occasions it’s appeared in the Tour proved to cause some splits among the main contenders, and its steep slopes will appear on the finale of stage five this year for the first overall fight. Chris Froome won there in 2012, while Vincenzo Nibali took victory solo on his way to winning the 2014 Tour.
But the first nine stages will culminate in a brutal looking stage, taking in seven climbs over 181.5km to Chambery, with three of them hors categorie, and surely the stage for some great racing.
Let us know how you think the first week of the Tour will play out and check out the full route here.
The Tour de France 2017 runs from July 1 to July 23 with it’s traditional finish in Paris.