Key Stages of the 2019 Tour de France where the race will be won (or lost)
A mountainous 2019 edition of the Tour de France will favor the strongest climbers and time triallers in the peloton
Here's our run down of seven key stages, where we believe the 2019 Tour de France will be won or lost
Stage 6 to La Planche des Belles Filles, July 11
We haven’t seen much of the Vosges mountains in recent years, but this stage visits some of the great climbs there. Le Grand Ballon is one of the highest roads in the region, used regularly in the Trois Ballons Cyclosportive
Stage six will be a big day, 157km from Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles, finishing with a 7km rise that maxes out at 20% at the top.
Before the final climb, they must climb up the Grand Ballon and the Ballon d’Alsace, both over 1,100 metres high, and then the Col des Chevrères.
La Planche des Belles Filles has seen some memorable battles, Chris Froome responded to an attack by Cadel Evans on the steepest part of the climb in 2012 and Team Sky took the double, a stage win for Froome and the yellow jersey for Wiggins.
The last rider to win on La Planche des Belles Filles was Italian Fabio Aru on Stage 5 of the 2017 Tour de France.
This is the race's fourth visit to the summit since 2012 and Tour director Christian Prudhomme said "The stage races up a part that we had build up there ,so that the publicity caravan could turn around, that's an extra kilometre, at an average gradient of 9.5%, with pitches up to 20%."
Stage 13 Individual Time Trial, July 19
Stage 13 celebrates the 100th birthday of the yellow jersey, it's the first individual time trial of the race, 27 kms on rolling terrain with a seven percent gradient hill.
The only individual time-trial of the 2019 Tour, the time trial stage winner will grab a very special 100th anniversary collector’s jersey that day.
For GC contenders, it's a stage to take valuable seconds out of their rivals.
Stage 14 to the Col du Tourmalet, July 20
Stage 14 will be one of the highlights of the 2019 Tour de France, with only the Ventoux or Alpe d'Huez rivalling a mountain top finish on top of the Tourmalet, the first of many climbs over 2,000 metres, this year via the often under-rated Col du Soulor.
Octave Lapize was the first to the top of the Tourmalet when the Tour de France crossed the summit for the first time in 1910 and he had to walk.
The Tourmalet is the mountain most visited by the Tour de France and first featured in 1910. This year's ascent is on a comparatively short stage of 117km. The final ascent to the summit finish is 19km long at an average of 7.4 percent and was the scene of a classic struggle in the fog in 2010 where Andy Schleck just edged Alberto Contador.
Stage 15: Limoux - Foix Prat d'Albis, July 21
The final Pyrenean stage will offer a sense of drama, a very hard day with a summit finish in Foix Prat d'Albis.
It's a 185 kilometers, three climbs with total to 4,700 meters of climbing, including the Col de Montségur, Port de Lers and the, Mur du Peguere before the finish at Prat d’Albis; a 12 kilometer climb at an average of 6.9%.
Stage 18 to Valloire, July 25
The race heads into the Alps for its first grueling day of 207 kilometers that climb the Col de Vars (2,109m) and the Col d’Izoard (2,360m) before dropping down to the town of Briançon.
They then cross the summit of the Galibier (2,642m) via the Col du Lautaret, before descending to the finish in Valloire.
With three summits at over 2000 metres high, the great Alpine classics of Vars, Izoard and Galibier speak for themselves!
This is the first time the Tour has visited all three mountain passes since 2011. The finish line comes after a very technical descent.
Stage 19 to Tignes, July 26
The second Alpine day is a short 123 km stage with three categorised climbs before the summit finish in Tignes at 2,089m.
First there is the massive Col de l’Iseran, at 2,770m its one of the highest road passes in Europe.
The Col de l’Iseran will be climbed for the eighth time in Tour history and the second time from south side, which is the toughest one, 13km of climbing before a steep, fast trecherous descent into the valley below.
The peloton will swing past Tignes dam and start a final 7.5km climb before a final flat kilometre to rounds out the stage in the thin mountain air.
Stage 20 to Val Thorens, July 27
This is the final showdown before a flight to Paris for the final sprint and celebration on the streets of Paris. Val Thorens featured once before on the Tour, on a stage won by the Colombian Nelson Rodriguez.
This is where the Tour could be won (or lost). Can the yellow jersey hold on or will it be stolen at the 11th hour?
Stage 20 will be the third mountain finish over 2,000 metres, the first time this has ever happened.
The stage includes the scenic and beautiful climb of the Cormet de Roselend.
The stage includes 4,450 metres of climbing over 123km. This stage doubles as the Etape du Tour for 2019 which has already sold out.