The next edition of the Tour de France will recover the route through the cobblestones of Paris-Roubaix and will take the peloton to the top of the Alpe d’Huez peak.
Designed for off-road riders such as defending champion Tadej Pogacar, the route will include two timed and six high-mountain stages, with five finishes at the heights.
Organizers publicized the route in Paris, with Pogacar and two-time world champion Julian Alaphilippe present. The traditional ceremony was held again after being canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The women’s race will be held between July 24 and 31 and will include eight stages. It will start at the Eiffel Tower in Paris and then continue east of France towards the finish in the Planche des Belles Filles, a classic stage of the men’s route in the Vosges mountain range.
Back on the calendar next year, the Women’s Tour de France is looking to become a fixture on the women’s circuit after several failed attempts. The Women’s Tour was previously played between 1984-89, parallel to the men’s, before being shortened.
The three-week men’s round will have Copenhagen as the starting point after a one-year delay due to the European Football Championship scheduling and tournament matches being played in the Danish capital last year.
The first stage, a 13-kilometer time trial, will be staged on July 1, followed by two more stages in the Nordic country before venturing into northern France.
After four years of absence, the treacherous Paris-Roubaix stage will return on stage five. The first great mountain challenge will be in the Vosges.
La Planche has become a classic of the last editions of the Tour with its brutal rise. That was where Pogacar sealed the first of his victories in 2020, seizing the yellow jersey in a dramatic time trial on the eve of the final day.
“There will be quite a few opportunities for the combative runners,” Alaphilippe said.
The peloton will pass through the Swiss city of Lausanne before climbing the Alps, which will be the scene of two hellish stages. The first will be in the Col du Granon – 2,413 meters above sea level – and the second in the port of Alpe d’Huez. The last time runners climbed Alpe d’Huez was in 2018.
“There was a lot of clamor to go back there,” Tour director Christian Prudhomme told L’Equipe newspaper.
The passage through the Pyrenees will not give respite either with the demanding stages with the goal of Peyragudes and Hautacam.
The final classification will be decided on the eve of the procession to the Champs-Élysées, when a 40-kilometer time trial will be played with the finish line in the picturesque town of Rocamadour.
Sprinters will have little chance to stand out, with six flat stages along the 3,328-kilometer route, including one to the medieval city of Carcassone, where Mark Cavendish set Eddy Merckx’s all-time record with 34 Tour stage wins for the year. last.