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2020 Le Tour de France Route Revealed

With La Vuelta and the Giro routes unveiled, it is now the time to present the biggest race on the calendar. Last year's Tour was geared towards the climbers, but what about this year?

Well if there is one Grand Tour this year that is sprinter friendly, then it has to be the Tour. Or rather the first week of the Tour. A total of 7 flat stages, 5 of them in week 1. There are also a couple of hill stages that seem quite sprinters friendly. Might this tempt a certain French sprinter to enter the race?

There are 5 hilly stages and a grand total of 7 mountain stages. The mountain stages do have some variety to them, as 4 have mountain top finishes, 2 finish on shorter and easier hills and 1 that ends with a descent. What about time-trialing? Well there is the opening stage time-trial and then a TTT on stage 9. So in total only 46.6 km against the clock. Given the order of the stages a GC favourite taking the yellow jersey on day 1 could prove problematic for their team. As they would have to somewhat control the race throughtout the first week.

Week 1: From the Netherlands, across the Ardennes and into Normandy


The race starts off not in France, but in the Netherlands with an opening 15.3 km time trial in Utrecht. The riders stay in Utrecht to start stage 2 as they travel south for the first sprint finish in ZĂ©lande. From there the riders have a short transfer into Belgium for stage 3. It's a hill stage this time, mostly flat, but look more closely and you'll see that there are some small hills towards the end. The stage finishes on none other than the Mur de Huy (1,3 km at 9,6%).

Stage 4 is a proper stage for the sprinters. It is the longest stage of the race though, at 214 km long, as the riders head into France for the first time. Stage 5 is very similar only shorter, with a finish in the city of Amiens. Stage 6 is not just a flat stage. It's one of the Tour's typical crosswind stages. The riders will ride on exposed roads along France's northern coast. The stage finishes with a small uncategorised hill CĂ´te d'Ingouville (850 m at 7%) in the port town of Le Havre. Stage 7 concludes the sprint friendly first week of the Tour.

Week 2: Up and down the hills and mountains


Stage 8 takes place in northwestern France. It's a predominantly flat stage that goes from the city of Rennes and ends further west on the Mûr-de-Bretagne (2,0 km 6,9%). Stage 9 is the race's 2nd time trial, a team time trial as well. With only one TT and no mountain stages so far, it is difficult to gauge how much of an impact it would have. Nonetheless any GC hopeful will not want to lose too much time. Speaking of no mountain stages, stage 10 is the first of seven. The peloton have transfered to the south, to the foothills of the Pyrénées. It's a straight forward stage, it's all flat until the riders start climbing up a HC categorised climb to the ski resort of La Pierre-Saint-Martin (15,3 km at 7,4%).

Stage 11 is another mountain stage. A total 5 categorised climbs with the penultimate being the legendary Col du Tourmalet (17,1 km at 7,3%). The riders then finish on a cat. 3 uphill to Cauterets. And we have one more stage in the Pyrénées, 197 km with 4 categorised climbs. The last summit is in the eastern part of the Pyrénées, atop the HC climb of Plateau de Beille (15,8 km at 7,9%). Just because the Pyrénées are done with, doesn't mean the riders can just sit up now. Both stages 13 and 14 lead the riders north into Massif Central. Stage 13 could be a chance for the breakaway with a downhill finish into the town of Rodez. Rodez is then the start point for stage 14 that features a difficult cat. 2 uphill finish on the Côte de la Croix Neuve (3,0 km at 10,1%).

Week 3: The long road through the Alps


Stage 15 is a transition stage. The riders are still in the Massif Central as they go from the town of Mende, eastward to the foothills of the Alps. With a fair amount of climbing this is a good opportunity for a win from the breakaway. Stage 16 could be another one for the breakaway in terms of the stage win, but the GC favourites will have to alert. A cat. 2 climb Col de Manse (8,9 km at 5,6%) tops out only around 10 km from the finish line in Gap. One of the traditional finishing towns in the Tour.

If the two previous stages were warm ups, then the real Alpine test starts on stage 17. 160 km with 5 categorised climbs including the penultimate climb up the Col d'Allos (14,0 km at 5,5%), before the finish in Pra Loup (6,2 km at 6,5%). Stage 18 will make your head spin. A total of 7 categorised over 184 km. This time the riders start in the town of Gap and head up north. The biggest test of the day is the HC category Col du Glandon (21,7 km at 5,1%) then a long descent and a final punchy climb of Lacets de Montvernier (3,4 km at 8,2%) before another short descent to the finish.

With 2 of 4 Alpine tests completed, the job does not become any easier. Stage 19 is 138 km with two cat. 1 climbs, a HC climb and a cat. 2 thrown in for good measure. To make matters worse the start and finish line are only a good 17 km apart, but the riders will have to take the long way around. They start climbing immediately up the Col du Chaussy (15,4 km at 6,3%), anyone who hasn't recovered will be in trouble from the off. Then the Col de la Croix de Fer (22,4 km at 6,9%), the riders will descent down this road the previous day after climbing the Glandon. The finish is then up another brutal climb up the La Toussuire (18,0 km at 6,1%).

Stage 20, will the riders have anything left? They will have to, and while the stage is a modest length of 110 km and has only 2 climbs. Both are of the highest difficulty. First the riders will take a slightly different road, but will again be climbing Col de la Croix de Fer (29,0 km at 5,2%). After a long descent and trek through the valley they reach their final test. It's none other than the mythical climb of Alpe-d'Huez (13,8 km at 8,1%). Here is where the Tour will finally be decided!

The traditional last stage across the Champs-Élysées. The winner's team will be sipping champagne, the weary will be glad they actually reached Paris and the remaining sprinters will fight it out for the most famous stage victory there is.

7 Flat
5 Hill (3 HTF)
7 Mountain (4 MTF, 2 HTF)


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej PogaÄŤar
knockout should be happy, because again it's not enough TT Pfft Not really liking any of the GT routes for Phinney, but this is probably the best given the good chance to take yellow early.
tastasol wrote:
knockout should be happy, because again it's not enough TT Pfft Not really liking any of the GT routes for Phinney, but this is probably the best given the good chance to take yellow early.

Finally a GT with less TT impact Grin
Not sure if i really like this route though for Lopez as the hilly and mountain stages dont fit him as good. Guess i have a bit more time to decide it.

I think the MGUCI did a nice job with the GT routes this year. The routes look different enough to have them look interesting for all sort of riders and tastes.
A Big Thank You To All MG And ICL Reporters!
And To All Who Organize Something On Daily As Well!

Another grand tour with a brutal final week. Very sprinter friendly for the first week and a half though.
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Very tempted to let Madrazo defend his title here. Definitely enough proper mountain stages. And not enough ITT km's to lose big to Phinney.

From stage 10 onwards this is going to be brutal. Grin
Herklotz would love the lack of ITT kilometres, while Demare would love more home turf opportunities, especially on the Mur and the Mûr...this'll be a headscratcher!
The Grand Tour routes doesn't give any obvious choice, I feel, which is cool Smile Will be interesting to see who goes where when that time comes.
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