Stage 1 of the 2017 Tour France is a flat individual time trial at 13 kilometres. On 2 July stage 2 will also start in Düsseldorf to head for Liege in Belgium. Stage 3 leads from Verviers to a punchy closing climb in Longwy, while the 4th stage is set to finish in Vittel.
The race then travels further down south to the Vosges mountains for the first climbers clash. Leaving from Vittel stage 5 leads to the steep La Planche des Belles Filles – a 6 kilometres climb at 8.5% with steepest sectors at 20% near the top. In 2012 Froome climbed to victory on these slopes, in 2014 it was Nibali who took the flowers.
Fast men will be eyeing up stage 6, leading from Vesoul to Troyes, while the 7th stage is travelling to Nuits-Saint Georges, the famous wine walhalla in Burgundy. The route is seeking vertical metres again in stage 8, when the riders race to Station des Rousses.
The Jura mountains are set to bring harsh climbs to the table as stage 9 takes in the Col de la Biche, the Grand Colombier (from its toughest side, meaning 22% grades), Mont du Chat, while the finish is in Chambery.
The stunning Dordogne region hosts the post-rest day stage to Bergerac, after which the Tour de France travels down to the Pyrenees in stage 11. To be more precise, after the Eymet-Pau stage the peloton is knocking on the door of the Pyrenees and then the door opens for stage 12 and a summit finish at Peyragudes. In 2012, Alejandro Valverde soloed to victory at this ski station, ahead of the chasing duo Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins. The Peyragudes and its twin brother Peyresourde are a double-barreled climb, totalling a 15.4 kilometres run at 5.1%.
Stage 13 is played out on Bastille Day, the 14th of July, with a short and, possibly, explosive, race to Foix. In merely 100 kilometres three cols are to be crested and expect grueling gradients at 18%. With that the Pyrenees are done.
Stage 14 travels from Blagnac to Rodez. In the 2015 Tour de France, Olympic Champion Greg Van Avermaet bested World Champion Peter Sagan in Rodez in exactly the same finale. The next day, stage 15 is played out on a route to Le-Puy-en-Velez that’s tailor made for attackers.
After the second rest day stage 16 leads to Romans-sur-Isère and then the Alps ‘usher in’ the peloton. Stage 17 takes in the 2,642 metres Galibier to close with a 28 kilometres descent to ski resort Serre Chevalier, while stage 18 offers the last summit finish against the dramatic backdrop of the Col d’Izoard at 2,360 metres.
Rather surprisingly, the 2017 Tour de France will not see any high mountains in the closing weekend. In stead, stage 19 travels from Embrun to Salon-de-Provence, offering chances for the fast men, while stage 20 is a 23 kilometres individual time trial in Marseille in the deep south of France.
Obviously, the last stage will finish on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
Tour de France 2017: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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