Looking ahead: 2017 Tour de France route
This year’s Tour de France route has been announced and, interestingly, it features fewer but steeper climbs than in years past, as well as just 36 time trial kilometres.
The 2017 route will include an opening 13km time-trial in Dusseldorf, stages in all five of France’s mountain ranges, one stage of just 100km, only three major summit finishes, nine potential sprint stages, a penultimate day time trial of 23km in Marseille and a final stage to Paris which will see the peloton ride through the famous Grand Palais.
Race director Christian Prudhomme has said he hopes for “an unpredictable Tour, where the race can be at stake on any given day”.
Although race commentators are now wondering if the Tour favourites, such as triple champion Chris Froome, can possibly win again, Prudhomme reckons the epic multi-day race will still be won in the mountains.
Things to know about the 2017 Tour de France
It’s the 104th edition and the race will cover a total of 3,516km over 21 stages
The Tour takes place from Saturday 1st July to Sunday 23rd July
The Tour starts in Dusseldorf, Germany, and will cross Belgium and Luxembourg before entering France
For the 42nd consecutive edition, the Tour de France will finish on the Champs-Elysées
There will be two time trials, nine flat stages, four hilly stages and six mountain stages
36kms of time trials will take place in Dusseldorf (13km) and Marseilles (23km)
There will be stages in all five French mountain ranges: The Vosges, Jura, Pyrenees, Massif Central and Alps
Legendary mountain pass, Galibier, features in stage 17
There will be a new stage finish on the summit of the Col d’Izoard in Stage 18 – with the classic Alpine col tackled from its south side. The mountain has featured 34 times since 1922, but never has as stage finished on the climb.
The longest day is Stage 19 from Embrun to Salon-de-Provence and totally 220km. This stage will head out of the mountains and towards the Provence region where the course will be rolling.
Maybe this year you might fancy taking a bet on the Tour de France 2017 with William Hill. All the favourite names are there, such as Froome at 8/13 and Contador at 9/1. Or how about a bet on Romain Berdet with current odds of 20/1 or Johan Esteban Chaves on 44/1? Geraint Thomas is on 80/1 while Australian rider Richie Porte sits at 8/1.