The 2014 Grand Depart is from Yorkshire, England, the first time the race has visited the UK since the tainted 2007 edition.
3 stages in England and then the caravan moves to France – the 4th stage is from the coastal town Le Touquet to Lille. Stage 5 then leaves the country again, starting in Belgium, in the town of Ypres. This is the highly anticipated stage to Porte du Hainat featuring a healthy serving of Paris-Roubaix’s famous cobbled sectors. Could Froome run into difficulty here?
The next day starts in Arras. Win the stage today and expect a good bottle of bubbly as the finish is in Reims, champagne capital of France. The next day’ s stage leaves champagne country and finishes in Nancy.
Heading in a southeastern direction, stage 8 goes from Tomblaine to Gérardmer and will see the first summit finish. The second is just two days later at La Planche des Belles Filles, where Chris Froome won the stage and Bradley Wiggins took yellow in the 2012 race.
A couple of flat stage follow the rest day until the road kicks up again in stage 13, a 200 kilometre ride with a summit finish in Chamrousse.
Stage 14 follows up with another summit finish, this time on the never before used climb to Risoul. Stage 15 takes sees some respite with a more moderate stage from Tailard to Nimes.
July 21st marks the second rest day of the Tour. It’s followed by a flat stage 16 from Carcassone to Bagnères-de-Luchon. The next day it’s back to the mountains with a summit finish on Pla d’Adet. Stage 18 goes up again, this time with the well known climb to Hautacam.
That’s it for the mountains with stage 19 a flat stage from Maubourguet to Bergerac. The penultimate day will see the first and last time trial: a 54 kilometre lung buster from Bergerac to Périgueux. The GC should be decided today if it wasn’t already. Will it be another party for Sky or can someone put a stop to the three in a row? Tinkoff, Astana and Movistar will be the most likely teams to upset Mr Froome.
The last stageis the procession from Evry tot Paris with a final sprint showdown on the Champs Elysees. Garçon, champagne!
Tour de France 2014: Images and more
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