Tour de France

Everything you need to know about the 109th edition of the world's biggest bike race

Date: Friday July 1, 2022 - Sunday July 24, 2022
Start: Copenhagen, Denmark
Finish: Paris, France
Total distance: 3,328km
Stages: 21
Riders: 176
Teams: 22
Defending champion: Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)

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 our across varied terrain for the prestige of claiming the yellow jersey of the overall winner.

The 2022 Tour, the 109th 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, and Germany, as well as as France, and this year will be staged in Denmark's capital city, Copenhagen.

After three stages in Denmark, the riders will take a travel day on Monday July 4 and resume the race in France on July 5. From there, stages eight and nine will start and finish in neighbouring Switzerland respectively, but the remaining stages will be contained in France. The 2022 Tour has the usual mix of flat sprint stages, medium mountains, and high mountain days in the Alps and Pyrenees. The competitive element of the overall race culminates with a long individual time trial on stage 20, before the processional ride into Paris and a sprint finish on the Champs-Élysées.

Winner of the 2020 and 2021 editions Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) returns as overall favourite for this year, but will face fierce competition from a stellar line-up of GC hopefuls. Elsewhere we'll see the world's top sprinters go head-to-head in the bunch finishes, and the breakaway specialists try to take an illustrious stage win from the escape.

Tour de France 2022 teams

Twenty-two teams will take to the start line of the men's Tour de France this year, each with eight riders. The 18 teams from the WorldTour - cycling's top tier - are included in the race automatically, as are the two highest ranking ProTour teams of 2021 Alpecin-Fenix and Arkéa-Samsic. The two remaining spots are awarded as invites decided by the organiser ASO. French teams B&B Hotels-KTM and TotalEnergies fill the two wildcard places for the 2022 race.

  • AG2R Citroën Team
  • Astana-Qazaqstan 
  • Bahrain Victorious
  • Bora-Hansgrohe
  • Cofidis
  • EF Education-EasyPost
  • Groupama-FDJ
  • Ineos Grenadiers
  • Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
  • Israel-Premier Tech
  • Jumbo-Visma
  • Lotto Soudal
  • Movistar Team
  • Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
  • BikeExchange-Jayco
  • Team DSM
  • Trek-Segafredo
  • UAE Team Emirates
  • Alpecin-Fenix
  • Arkéa-Samsic
  • B&B Hotels-KTM
  • TotalEnergies

Tour de France 2022 route 

Tour de France 2022 route map

The 2022 Tour de France opens with a short 13km time trial in Copenhagen; an opportunity for the specialists against the clock to take the first yellow jersey. The two remaining stages in Denmark, finishing in Nyborg and Sønderborg respectively, will favour bunch finishes and the sprinters, but will also make it easier for the yellow jersey to retain their lead.

After a travel day back to France on Monday July 4, the race resumes with a hillier stage in the north before a trip over the cobbles on stage five; the first appearance of pavé at the Tour since 2018. The next pivotal point in week one will be the summit finish on the now organiser-favourite climb Super Planche des Belles Filles, a steep ascent which should provide the first proper GC shake-up. The following two stages then foray into Switzerland, though week one will culminate back on French soil with a high mountains stage to Châtel les Portes du Soleil.

Following a welcome rest day in Morzine, the Tour heads deeper into the Alps. Once a hilly stage to Megève is out the way, there's two consecutive savage summit finishes on stages 11 and 12. The first crosses the Col du Télégraph and the Col du Galibier before a race to the top of the Col du Granon, while stage 12 is a classic-looking Alps stage. A start in Briançon will take the riders the opposite way over the Col du Galibier before they ascend the Col de la Croix de Fer and finish on Alpe d'Huez for the first time since 2018.

Two flat stages and a hilly stage help the riders across France, through the Massif Central and southwards to the Pyrenees. With the final rest day in Carcassone done, the peloton transitions closer to the Pyrenees with a hilly stage to Foix before two more back-to-back summit finishes on stages 17 and 18. The specialist climbers will need to gain as much time as they can on the well-trodden roads of Peyragudes and Hautacam, with the looming prospect of a 40km time trial to come on stage 20.

The Tour transitions away from the Pyrenean summits with a flat stage northward to Cahors, offering brief recovery for the GC contenders before the final decisive ride against the clock in south-central France on Saturday July 23.

The final stage will see the usual procession towards 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 109th edition in 2022, 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 last year by Britain's Mark Cavendish, who is undoubtedly the most successful sprinter in Tour de France history.

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 is the reigning champion of both the yellow jersey and polka-dot jersey, having taken those titles in 2020 and 2021, and returns to the Tour in 2022 to try and repeat the feat.

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

  • 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
  • 2005 - Ivan Basso, CSC ProTeam

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