The Tour de France 2019 will be something for climbing specialists and takes you over some of the mythical mountains of their long history. As the organisers announced during the route presentation of the 106th Tour of France (6 to 28 July), the programme includes an arrival at the legendary Col du Tourmalet in the Pyrenees.
The tour starts with a sprint stage in Brussels and finds its traditional end after 3460 km on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
The 23rd foreign start of the Great Loop and the fifth in Belgium is dedicated to cycling legend Eddy Merckx – 50 years after his first tour triumph in 1969. For the German top sprinters around Marcel Kittel, the flat section means a chance to win the first yellow jersey, exactly 100 years after the introduction of the coveted Maillot jaune.
A total of five mountain arrivals, three of them at an altitude of over 2000 metres, are planned, plus only one individual time trial in Pau (27 km). The defending champion is Geraint Thomas from Wales, who, like four-time overall winner Chris Froome, followed the presentation on site.
After the three-day start in Belgium, the tour will take place entirely on French territory. During the first week of the Vosges, the world’s most important cycle race takes place close to the German border. Then it goes in the direction of the Pyrenees, while the French west is left out. On the 14th stage the Tourmalet will be climbed, which serves as the finish for the third time and for the first time since 2010.
The decision is made in the Alps when crossing the legendary peaks Col d’Izoard, Col du Galibier and Col d’Iseran at an altitude of well over 2700 metres as the roof of the upcoming tour.
In addition to the first section, the sprinters have six more opportunities to win the day. A section over cobblestones is missing this time as well as the climbing section up to Alpe d’Huez. Also an extremely short mountain stage like that over 65 km with this year’s edition was renounced.
Binche/Belgium – Epernay (214 km)
Reims – Nancy (215 km)