The Tour de France 2018 route will see the return of Alpe d’Huez and the Paris-Roubaix cobbles for the first time since 2015, and a 65km road stage in the Pyrénées.
As previously announced, the 2018 Tour de France will start on Saturday, July 7 with the Grand Départ in the Vendée region in the west of France.
The opening stage of the 105th edition of the race will start in Noirmoutier-en-l’Île and is one of two flat stages to begin the race that will see the sprinters fight for the yellow jersey, before a 35km team time trial starting and finishing in Cholet on stage three.
The Pyrénées will be the race’s final mountain range for the first time since 2014, with five the south west of France, including a summit finish at the Col-de-Portet at the end of the 65km stage 17, the shortest road stage in the race for a number years. The queen stage of the race comes two days later, with a hellish 200km stage between Lourdes and Laruns, taking in the Col d’Aspin, Col du Tourmalet, and Col d’Aubisque. As was the case in 2017, the Tour de France will be decided by an individual time trial on the penultimate day, with a 31km time trial between Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle and Espelette. This stage has rolling climbs throughout, with a steep 900m climb just three kilometres from the finish. As is traditional the 2018 Tour de France will finish in Paris where the winner will be crowned on the Champs-Élysées. Read more at http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/tour-de-france/tour-de-france-route-192041#MoZBjXBEm30VVf8j.99
A long day in the saddle to bring the race into the mountains, the first two-thirds of the stage are flat before the triple whammy of the Col de Portet-d’Aspet, the Col de Menté, and the Col du Portillon. This latter climb is relatively short at eight kilometres, but with should be crucial with just a 10km descent remaining to the finish.
No, that’s not a typo, this really is a 65km road stage – the shortest non-split road stage of the last 30 years. And packed into those 65km are three climbs, with the Montée du Peyragudes – where Chris Froome lost time in 2017 – and the Col de Val Louron-Azet, followed by the final summit finish of the race to Saint-Lary-Soulan/Col de Portet – an unrelenting climb averaging nearly nine per cent for its 16km length.
A chance for a bit of respite for the GC contenders, stage 18 will see the race temporarily head out of the Pyrénées for a flat stage into Pau. This is the last stage for the sprinters before the grand finale in Paris, so if the green jersey is still up for grabs then don’t bet on a breakaway.
Arguably the queen stage of the race, the 200km stage between Lourdes and Laruns features some of the Tour’s great climbs in the Col d’Aspin, Col du Tourmalet, and Col d’Aubisque. With a time trial on the agenda for the following day, this is the last chance for the climbers to impose themselves on the race, especially those who can also take advantage of the descent to the finish in Laruns.