A Preview to the Tour de France 2018

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A Preview to the Tour de France 2018

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A Preview to the Tour de France 2018

What comes to your mind when you hear Jerseys, Stages and excitement? (No, not the football world cup!) We are talking about the 105th Tour De France, which is scheduled to begin on the 7th of July 2018, and is expected to be one of the most exciting editions of the race.

What makes this year’s Tour De France special?

For starters, the Tour De France is known to have something for everyone, sprints, renowned intense climbs, uphill finishes, cobblestones – you name it, the TDF has it. However, this year’s edition will introduce a new late-stage intermediate time bonus for the first three riders to reach a predetermined point near the end of Stages 1 through 9, and a 65K mountain stage that will see the riders starting according to their places on the Tours General Classification. Additionally, after being cleared by the UCI in the doping Probe, Team Sky’s Chris Froome has a chance to create history with a 5th Tour De France win this year. However, UCI’s decision to clear the charges against him has been met with several protests from others in the cycling sphere. More on that later.

A Preview to the Tour de France 2018-1
A Preview to the Tour de France 2018-2

Stage 1 to Stage 5

Stage 1, July 7th: Commencing at Noirmoutier – en - L’Ile, this stage will comprise of a 201-kilometre race on coastal roads with a chance of heavy winds, and a late category 4 climb. The day’s race will end with a sprint-friendly finish at Fontenay – Le – Comte. 

Stage 2, July 8th: Commencing at Mouilleron-Saint-Germain, this stage comprises of a 182.5km race, with an early category 4 climb. The day’s race will come to an end at La Roche-sur-Yon. 

Stage 3, July 9th: A team time trial on this day, the first one since 2015 that will be a 35.5-kilometre route around the town of Cholet, with changing terrain across the route and a climb to the finish point, this could be a challenging day for the participating teams. 

Stage 4, July 10th: Commencing at La Baule, this stage will comprise of a 195-kilometre race on a route with short, yet strong, uncategorized climbs and an uphill finish. The day’s race will finish at Sarzeau. 

Stage 5, July 11th: The day’s race is likely to be a gruelling 204.5-kilometre haul. Commencing at Lorient, this course will comprise of five categorized climbs with three Category 3 ascents. The day’s race is set to conclude at Quimper.  

Stage 6 to Stage 9

Stage 6, July 12th: Commencing at Brest, this stage will comprise of a 181-kilometre race over a rolling terrain. The end of this stage will be the most challenging with a circuit that involves the riders to complete a short yet steep climb to Mur de Bretagne, twice. 

Stage 7, July 13th: This stage comprises of the longest distance of the tour, 231-kilometres. The race will commence at Fougeres, and a flat course profile ensures a happy day for sprinters. The day’s end comprises of a long downhill to the finish point at Chartres. 

Stage 8, July 14th: Commencing at Dreux, this stage comprises of a 181-kilometre race, with the possibility of strong head wind and/or crosswinds posing a challenge to the riders. The day’s race will end at Amiens Metropole. 

Stage 9, July 15th: A 156.6-kilometre race that will commence at Arras Citadelle and end at Roubaix. This stage features 15 sections of cobblestones, including some of the longest and hardest in the region. 

A Preview to the Tour de France 2018-3
A Preview to the Tour de France 2018-4

Stage 10 to Stage 15

Stage 10, July 17th: After a day’s rest, the riders will face the beginning of several climbs. The Tour De France enters the famed Alps in this stage. Commencing at Annecy, this stage will cover 4 categorized climbs, and the riders will face the first ‘beyond category’ climb. This is the Montee Du Plateau de Glieres, which is a short yet incredibly steep climb with an average grade of about 12 percent, and if this wasn’t challenging enough, the riders will face a 2-kilometre stretch of gravel roads before descending. Additionally, the route has two category one climbs towards the end, The Col de Romme and the Col de la Colombiere. The race will finish at Le Grand-Bornand, covering a total distance of 158.5-kilometres. 

Stage 11, July 18th: The race will commence at Albertville, covering a distance of 108.5-kilometres to the finish at La Rosiere Espace San Bernardo. This stage will see four climbs in under 70 miles, starting with two ‘beyond category’ climbs at the start, followed by a category 2 climb and ending with a summit finish – a long, steady climb to La Rosiere. 

Stage 12, July 19th: Commencing at Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arcs, this day’s route will comprise of three ‘beyond category’ climbs and a summit finish at Alpe d’Huez. This stage is said to be the longest and hardest of this season’s three Alpine stages. The distance covered in this stage will be 175.5-kilometres. 

Stage 13, July 20th: Commencing at Bourg d’Oisans, this stage comprises of a 169.5-kilometre race with a few uncategorized climbs in the last 50-kilometres from the finish at Valence. 

Stage 14, July 21st: Commencing at Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux, this stage will cover 188-kilometres of mixed terrain – a first half of flat and rolling terrain followed by steady ascents and a series of categorized and uncategorized climbs. The stage will end at Mende with the riders facing the Cote de la Croix, a climb known for thrilling finishes.       

Stage 15, July 22nd: Commencing at Millau, this stage covers area across Southern France to the foothills of the Pyrenees, covering 181.5-kilometres. This stage includes a Category 1 climb, the Pic de Nore. The day’s race will end at Carcassonne. 

Stage 16 to Stage 21

Stage 16, July 24th: Commencing with two Category 4 climbs just out of Carcassonne, this stage will comprise of three more challenging climbs – the Col de Portet d’Aspet, the Col de Mente, and the Col de Portillon. This challenging stage will come to an end at Bagneres-de-Luchon, covering a total distance of 218-kilometres. 

Stage 17, July 25th: Commencing at Bagneres-de-Luchon, this stage will comprise of a 65-kilometre route covering three major summits, including the highest and steepest mountain in this year’s edition of the Tour De France. Additionally, riders will start in waves determined by the General Classification. The stage will come to an end at Soulan and is expected to be exciting from the start to the finish. 

Stage 18, July 26th: This stage is set to be a refreshing change from the mountains. Commencing at Trie-Sur-Baise with a rolling terrain and covering 171-kilometres to the finish in Pau. 

Stage 19, July 27th: Commencing at Lourdes this 200.5-kilometre route will take the participants back to the Pyrenees and will comprise of three summits – the Col d’Aspin, the Col du Tourmalet and the Col d’Aubisque. The end of the stage will see a long descent from atop the Aubisque to the finish point in Laruns.  

Stage 20, July 28th: The only Individual Time Trial of this year’s tour will be at this stage, and is set to be a challenging course that will be held in the French Basque Country, a mountainous region famous for short and steep climbs. The finish will be at Espelette, covering a total distance of 31-kilometres.  

Stage 21, July 29th : Commencing at Houilles, the start of this stage will see celebratory, easy riding. However, once the riders approach Paris and the Champs-Elysées, the riders will get into it at full power. The eight circuits around the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde will see fast-paced sprinting and intense competition as the sprinters battle it out for a final stage win. 

A Preview to the Tour de France 2018-5
Conclusion

Though each stage of the race has its own share of excitement, there are six stages this year which are sure to be supremely exciting - and should not be missed. These stages would be - the 5th, 6th, 9th, 11th, 12th and the 17th! If you are a cycling enthusiast, but do not have time to catch the whole Tour De France, these stages should give you just enough to go by, for your dose of the TDF as a spectator! Oh, and of course, the last day at Paris! As we end this preview of the Tour, we are going to leave you with a few questions - What are your opinions on Chris Froome being cleared? And, Do you think he will win his 5th Tour de France and make history? Let us know!

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