“It’s a brutal, brutal course, but good,”
That was four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome’s initial assessment of the 2020 Tour de France course as the route was announced at a gala ceremony in Paris overnight.
“I think it’s going to be a really explosive race and very much in favour of the mountains,” Froome continued … regardless of the fact he is still recovering from serious injuries and two other teammates – Geraint Thomas & Egan Bernal – have won the race in the past two years.
The 2020 Tour de France will feature the five major mountain ranges of France – the Alps, Massif Central, Pyrenees, Jura and the Vosges. There will be a total of 29 categorised climbs along with the five summit finishes, perfect for the Colombians and in particular last year’s winner Egan Bernal.
“First we need to take the decision over whether I go to the Tour or not,” the 22yo Bernal told reporters at the route presentation. “We have really good riders who can win the Tour. We need to be calm, talk to the team and to Dave and then analyse the parcours,” he continued.
“I would like to come back to the Tour next year but I also have a lot of respect for the Giro and the Vuelta. We’ll see what the decision of the team is. For sure I want to come back as I’m the last winner. It would be nice to come back with number one on my back. It’s not just me in this team, though; there are other riders.”
Viewers The Big Winners
With the climbing to start from Stage 2, the big winners of the 2020 Tour will be you and I, the viewers at home, on the roadside and in bars, cafes and bikeshops watching the uphill attacks & action.
‘The Tour de France visiting five different mountain ranges is something that only happens once in a blue moon’, Tour organisers said in a statement.
‘It will be the first time that the route features mountain stages from the second day of racing until the eve of the finish in Paris, over a period of no fewer than 20 days. The stage between two islands and the ascent of the Grand Colombier from almost the bottom to the top, with a summit finish at the top of the Pyramide du Bugey, are also unprecedented.
Whatever happens in stage 15 or in the exceptional time trial on La Planche des Belles Filles could decide who takes the yellow jersey all the way to Paris. If the riders in the 107th edition are feeling as bold and inspired as in July this year, we are likely to see a race in which the top of the classification changes virtually every day and the pretenders to the crown will have to take matters into their own hands early on.
Perfect For Aggresive Riders
The route has been designed to favour aggressive riders with the ability to jump out of the peloton with ease, starting with the stage to Orcières-Merlette, which will lead to small time gaps but provide valuable insights. If a non-conformist mood takes hold of the peloton, the ascent to the Col de la Lusette en route to Mont Aigoual and the first finish atop the Puy Mary may well do as much damage as the Pyrenean stages to Loudenvielle and Laruns. Meanwhile, the Alpine sequence signals a foray into uncharted territory, including the fearsome road to the Col de la Loze, overhanging Méribel, from which none can hide.
On paper, the eight mountain stages on the menu should decide who takes the spoils, but even flat and hilly stages will be riddled with pitfalls. Coastal winds could throw the peloton into disarray on the road to the fortified town of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, just like the Suc au May climb, the hectic finish through the streets of Lyon and the rugged terrain of the Vercors Massif on the way to Villard-de-Lans. Although the route favours attackers, sprinters will also get opportunities to shine from the first day to the last.’
Tour de France 2020 stages
Saturday June 27 – stage 1: Nice to Nice
Sunday June 28 – stage 2: Nice to Nice
Monday June 29 – stage 3: Nice to Sisteron
Tuesday June 30 – stage 4: Sisteron to Orcieres-Merlette
Wednesday July 1 – stage 5: Gap to Privas
Thursday July 2 – stage 6: Le Teil to Mont Aigoual
Friday July 3 – stage 7: Millau to Lavaur
Saturday July 4 – stage 8: Cazeres to Loudenvielle
Sunday July 5 – stage 9: Pau to Laruns
Monday July 6 – First Rest Day
Tuesday July 7 – stage 10: Ile de Re to Il d’Oleron
Wednesday July 8 – stage 11: Chatelaillon-Plage to Poitiers
Thursday July 9 – stage 12: Chavigny to Sarran
Friday July 10 – stage 13: Chatel-Guyon to Puy Mary
Saturday July 11 – stage 14: Clermont-Ferrand to Lyon
Sunday July 12 – stage 15: Lyon to Grand Colombier
Monday July 13 – Second Rest Day
Tuesday July 14 – stage 16: Tour du Pin to Villard-de-Lans
Wednesday July 15 – stage 17: Grenoble to Meribel
Thursday July 16 – stage 18: Meribel to La Roche-sur-Foron
Friday July 17 – stage 19: Bourg-en-Bresse to Champagnole
Saturday July 18 – stage 20: Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles
Sunday July 19 – stage 21: Mantes-la-Jolie to Paris