All you need to know about the route of the 110th edition of the Tour de FranceRead more
Tour de France 2023
Tour de France 2023:
Date: Saturday July 1, 2023 - Sunday July 23, 2023
Start: Bilbao, Spain
Finish: Paris, France
Total distance: 3,404km
Defending champion: Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma)
Tour de France 2023 overview
The Tour de France, or just Le Tour, is the world's most significant bike race and is one of cycling's three Grand Tours, along with the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España.
Staged over three weeks and 21 individual stages, the Tour is one of the world's most gruelling endurance events and sees cycling's strongest all-round riders battle it out across varied terrain for the prestige of claiming the yellow jersey of the overall winner.
The 2023 Tour, the 110th edition, follows the modern trend of starting outside its home nation. In the past decade the Grand Départ has taken place in Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Germany, as well as France, and this year will be staged in Bilbao, an industrial port city in the Basque region of northern Spain.
With five mountain ranges, four summit finishes and a record-breaking 30 categorised climbs – this year’s Tour is all about the mountains. The route takes the peloton through the Basque Country, the Pyrenees in the west to the Alps, Jura and Vosges in the east, via the Massif Central and finishes with the processional ride into Paris and sprint finish on the Champs-Élysées.
A climber’s paradise, the route only features one 22km time trial and has no inclusion of cobblestones, like we saw in the 2022 Tour de France, a dirt road stage, or a team time trial .
Jonas Vingegaard for team Jumbo-Visma will be back to see whether he can secure a second yellow jersey, but he’ll have tough competition on his hands with Tadej Pogačar still hungry for a third Tour de France title, and even 22-year-old Vuelta winner, Remco Evenepoel perhaps in contention.
Tour de France teams 2023
Twenty-two teams will be on the start line of the men's Tour de France this year, each with eight riders.
The final list of teams who will start in Bilbao has been confirmed, and out of the 22 teams, 18 are from the WorldTour. Two, Team TotalEnergies and Lotto-dstny, qualify as the top-ranked from the second-division teams, while Israel-Premier Tech and Uno-X have been selected as wildcards by the organisers.
Confirmed team list:
AG2R Citroën Team
Astana Qazaqstan Team
UAE Team Emirates
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
Tour de France 2023 route
The 2023 Tour de France route opens with a 182km stage through the streets of Bilbao, featuring plenty of Basque hills including five classified climbs that count towards the King of the Mountains (KoM) competition – the perfect opening for the more explosive and aggressive riders in the peloton.
Once two more hilly stages in the north of Spain are out of the way, the race moves onto home soil where they will begin stage four from Dax to Nogaro, with an exciting sprint finish on the Nogaro circuit. The race then moves on to two consecutive savage summit finishes in stages five and six in the Pyrenees. The first starts in Pau, going up and over the Col de Soudet before a race to the top of the Col de Marie Blanque, and another hard day in the saddle follows with the mighty Tourmalet preceding a an uphill run to the line at Cauterets-Cambasque. The Pyrenees will be just a taste of what’s to come for the riders as they make their way across France.
Stage seven is a welcome break from the mountains, giving the peloton a chance to recoup some energy before the battles ahead. That rest won’t be for long however, as stages eight and nine head back into the mountains passing through Libourne, Limoges, Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat, and finishing at the iconic Puy de Dôme – for the first time since 1988 – before the peloton’s first rest day.
The second week of the Tour starts at Vulcania and heads through the Chaîne des Puys, leaving only the strongest riders out front leading the way to Issoire. Stage 11 is a relatively flat route starting in Clermont-Ferrand and finishing with a 1.3km straight sprint in the heart of Moulins, making for an exciting finish to the day's stage.
One hilly and three mountain stages take the riders through the region of Ain, sharpening the legs with one of the hardest passes in France – Grand Colombier. The second and final rest day follows in Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc before the start of the third week, opening with the only time trial throughout this year’s Tour – a short and sharp 22km route.
Continuing in the French Alps, the peloton faces the challenging Col de la Loze on stage 17, enduring over 5,000m in elevation across the day. With much of the Tour being all about the mountains, stage 18 gives the sprinters a chance to be front and centre once again with a one kilometer sprint finish in Bourg-en-Bresse.
One flat and one hilly stage stand between the GC contenders and the yellow jersey, but those fighting for victory will have to find their climbing legs once more on stage 20 as they tackle 3,600m of climbing over a relatively short distance, leaving it all up for grabs if the yellow jersey is still in contention
The final stage will see the usual procession toward Paris before the sprinters lock horns for one last time in this edition on the Champs-Élysées.
Tour de France history
The Tour de France will be in its 110th edition in 2023, first starting in 1903. Having only stopped for the two world wars, the Tour rose to become the premier event of the cycling calendar and is now one of the most-watched sporting events in the world. The Tour has changed significantly since its first iteration, but at its heart remains a gruelling test of physical and mental endurance for the participants.
Such is the Tour's prestige, overall wins and stage wins are often defining moments in the careers of riders. Some riders however have shaped the history of the Tour through their exceptional exploits, winning the general classification multiple times throughout their careers. Jacques Anquetil (1957 - 1964), Eddy Merckx (1969 - 1974), Bernard Hinault (1978 - 1985) and Miguel Indurain (1991 - 1995) hold the joint record of five for the most Tour wins, while Indurain is the only rider to win his titles in five-consecutive years. American Lance Armstrong held the record of seven until he had his titles stripped in 2012 after admitting to doping.
Chris Froome is the only current rider with more than one Tour de France overall victory, having secured four titles between 2013 and 2017.
As for stage wins, Eddy Merckx's record of 34 was matched in 2019 by Britain's Mark Cavendish, who is undoubtedly the most successful sprinter in Tour de France history. Cavendish is said to be chasing a record-breaking 35th stage win at the 2023 Tour.
In the other classifications, Peter Sagan has a record seven victories in the green jersey points competition, while former French rider Richard Virenque has the same number in the polka-dot jersey of the King of the Mountains.
Tadej Pogačar was the reigning champion of both the yellow and polka-dot jersey in 2020 and 2021 but couldn’t repeat the feat in the 2022 Tour. Instead Jumbo-Visma’s Jonas Vingegaard took the double jersey title.
Most Tour de France wins:
- 5 wins - Jacques Anquetil (1957 - 1964), Eddy Merckx (1969 - 1974), Bernard Hinault (1978 - 1985) and Miguel Indurain (1991 - 1995)
- 4 wins - Chris Froome (2013 - 2017)
- 3 wins - Philippe Thys (1913 - 1920), Louison Bobet (1953 - 55), Greg LeMond (1986 - 1990)
Recent Tour de France winners:
- 2022 - Jonas Vingegaard, Jumbo-Visma
- 2021 - Tadej Pogačar, UAE Team Emirates
- 2020 - Tadej Pogačar, UAE Team Emirates
- 2019 - Egan Bernal, Team Ineos
- 2018 - Geraint Thomas, Team Sky
- 2017 - Chris Froome, Team Sky
- 2016 - Chris Froome, Team Sky
- 2015 - Chris Froome, Team Sky
- 2014 - Vincenzo Nibali, Astana ProTeam
- 2013 - Chris Froome, Sky Procycling
- 2012 - Bradley Wiggins, Sky Procycling
- 2011 - Cadel Evans, BMC Racing Team
- 2010 - Andy Schleck, Saxo Bank
- 2009 - Alberto Contador, Astana
- 2008 - Carlos Sastre, CSC ProTeam
- 2007 - Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel
- 2006 - Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne
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