All the cities, climbs and surprises for the 2018 Tour de France route were revealed at a ceremony at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, France, today.
Organisers sought to vary stages and offer new climbs, play with the wind, find new hills, daring cobblestones and tracks.
Starting in Noirmoutier-en-l’Île on July 7, the 105th edition of the Tour will finish 21 days and 3 329km later in Champs-Elysées in Paris, as per tradition. The 2018 route will feature eight flat stages, five puncheur stages, six mountain stages and 25 classified climbs (two more than this year).
A few of the highlights includes a team time-trial on stage three, the longest day on stage seven, 15 cobbled sectors on stage nine and a daunting 5 000m of climbing on stage 12 before the deciding time-trial on the penultimate day.
The 21.5km of cobbles on the ninth stage may throw a major spanner in the works for this year’s winner, Chris Froome. He crashed twice along cobbles three years ago, fracturing his wrist.
The opening nine stages will provide ideal opportunities for those looking to make their mark on the general classification.
Bonus seconds will be awarded to the first three riders to reach a specific kilometre of the course, but these will count purely towards the GC and have no impact on the points classification.
One major change to the 2018 edition is that teams will only be allowed to enter eight riders, bringing the total starting peloton to 176.
The 2018 route is as follows:
July 7, Stage 1: Noirmoutier-en-l’Ile – Fontenay-le-Comte, 189km
July 8. Stage 2: Mouilleron-Saint-Germain – La Roche-sur-Yon, 183km
July 9, Stage 3: Cholet – Cholet (TTT), 35km
Stage 4, July 10: La Baule – Sarzeau, 192km
July 11, Stage 5: Lorient – Quimper, 203km
July 12, Stage 6: Brest – Mûr de Bretagne Guerlédan, 181km
July 13, Stage 7: Fougères – Chartres, 231km
July 14, Stage 8: Dreux – Amiens Métropole, 181km
July 15, Stage 9: Arras Citadelle – Roubaix, 154km
July 17, Stage 10: Annecy – Le Grand Bornand, 159km
July 18, Stage 11: Albertville – La Rosière, 108km
July 19, Stage 12: Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arcs – Alpe d’Huez, 175km
July 20, Stage 13: Bourg d’Oisans – Valence, 169km
July 21, Stage 14: Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux – Mende, 187km
July 22, Stage 15: Millau – Carcassonne, 181km
July 24, Stage 16: Carcassonne – Bagnères-de-Luchon, 218km
July 25, Stage 17: Bagnères-de-Luchon – Saint-Lary-Soulan (Col de Portet), 65km
July 26, Stage 18: Trie-sur-Baïse – Pau, 172km
July 27, Stage 19: Lourdes – Laruns, 200km
July 28, Stage 20: Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle – Espelette (ITT), 31km
July 29, Stage 21: Houilles – Paris Champs Elysées, 115km