Mountainous 2020 Tour de France Route Revealed

Next year's 107th edition of the world greatest bike race features eight mountain stages with four summit finishes and just one individual time trial on the penultimate stage

The route of the 2020 Tour de France was officially unveiled last Tuesday in Paris, and is a little different. 

The 2020 Tour starts a week earlier than usual on Saturday, June 27 to make way for the the 2020 Olympic Games. It visits all five of the France's major mountain ranges, and features only one stage over 200 kms and just one time trial, and this year, stay's in France.

The opening week is much tougher than usual, the GC contenders will have a battle on their hands early on.

Mountainous 2020 Tour de France Route Revealed

Grand Depart in Nice

Stage One of the 2020 Tour de France starts and finishes in Nice, 170 kms long with three significant climbs of the Aspremont. The stage will suit the Sprinters, but it will not be easy with the successive climbing, however it's 40 kms downhill to the famous Promenade des Anglais at the seafront which will host the finish.

The serious climbing starts on Stage 2 and heads straight into the mountains with four significant climbs over 190km with the bigger climbs of the Col de la Colmiane and the Col de Turini used in Paris-Nice. It is  the stage that 16,000 amateur riders will tackle in the 2020 Etape du Tour on July 5th!

A flat Stage 3 should end in a sprint finish, on the third day, the Tour de France leaves the Nice area. The yellow caravan will ride along the Route Napoléon for an Emperor-like bunch sprint in Sisteron.

An altitude finish early on the Tour is extremely rare. The Grand Départ in Nice allows the race to evolve rapidly in the spectacular scenery of Hautes-Alpes. Stage 4 is the first hilly excursion in the Dévoluy mountains isn’t made to split the pack too much. But the final climb to Orcières-Merlette, 1,825 metres high, a hairpin-laden, 7.1km final ascent with an average gradient of 6.7 per cent.

VIDEO: 2020 Tour de France Parcours

The riders head into Province and towards the Rhones Valley where a sprint finish is likely to take place in Privas on Stage 5. The peloton will pass olive trees at Nyons through the capital of “Nougat” in the city of Montélimar. Once in the Rhone Valley, the sprinters will face an uphill false-flat road for several kilometres, to battle for a stage win in Privas.

Stage 6 features a tough finish atop Mont Aigoual at 1,560m, situated on a vast “plateau” on the borders of the Gard and Lozère departments, last featured in 1989. The steepness of the road will make the stage excitingm especially after taking on the climb to the Col de la Lusette after leaving Le Vigan. At the summit, around 15 kilometres will still have to be covered to the get to the finish line. A first day when the GC favourites will have to be on their guard.

Into the Pyrenees 

Stage 7 from Millau to Lavau precedes a weekend of climbing in the Pyrenees. Which does not necessarily mean that this will be an easy day, as racing in the Garonne region is never easy. Wind and gruelling hilly roads could ruin this stage for the sprinters and favour a breakaway.

The first Pyrenees Stage 8 is designed on a course that will be both dynamic and demanding. In less than 100 kilometres, the riders will have to reach the Col de Menté followed by the Port de Balès and the Col de Peyresourde. A good descender could then have the opportunity to make a difference on the final descent with arounf ten kilometres to the finish.

The second day of brutal climbing day in the Pyrenees, Stage 9 takes in the Col de la Hource`re, the Col de Soudet, for the seventh time since the beginning of the Tour, the riders will ride at an altitude of over 1,500m. They will then battle it out on the extremely steep climb up to the Col de Marie Blanque before heading back down to Laruns.

Into the Pyrenees

The Second Week

A coastal stage between Il d’Oleron and Ile de Re starts week two, the stage will be marked by the Vauban buildings in Royan, Rochefort or La Rochelle, but also by a course mainly set by the sea. Crosswinds will almost certainly disrupt this flat stage between two islands on the west coast.

The Tour bids farewell to the ocean on Stage 11. The 2020 Tour leaves the coast and enters the deeper French territory through the marshlands of Poitou.The scene is set for a bunch sprint in Poitiers, with a final 1.5-km straight that could suit Arnaud Démare, winner in the town in his French National champion’s jersey way back in 2014. A straightforward flat stage should give the sprinters an opportunity as the races heads inland.

The longest stage of the 2020 Tour will first take riders across the roads of the Vienne and Haute-Vienne areas on Stage 12, But it’ll be in Corrèze, the final difficulty of the Suc au May will shows up on course when the legs are heavy. With a summit finish to follow the next day, the breakaway could stay away on this long, heavy stage.

The journey through the Massif Central will for the first time finish at the Puy Mary and will feature the biggest elevation gain of the 2020 Tour with a total of 4,400 metres of climbing on Stage 13. Before taking on the final climb, the riders will have to deal with the Col de Ceyssat and the Col de Neronne. The favourites will need to be at their very best.

As required in the tradition of Lyon restaurants, the menu will be dense, as Stage 14 promises a battle between the breakaway specialists, the climbers and the sprinters.  First on the Monts du Forez where the riders will have to go up to the Col du Béal, and then mainly on the urban course of close to 15 kilometres in Lyon including three climbs: the Côte de la Duchère, followed by the Montée de l’Observance and finally the Côte de la Croix-Rousse just five kilometres before reaching the finish line in Lyon.

The race resumes in Lyon the next day with a summit finish to the well-trodden climb of Grand Colombier in the Jura mountain range on Stage 15. Climbing the same mountain several times in the Tour is very rare and On the 12th of July, the peloton will tackle three of the four access roads up the Grand Colombier with, the last ascent all the way to the summit. The battle promises to be intense on the eve of the second rest day!

the Grand Colombier

The Final Week

La Chartreuse area will inspire breakaway experts ready to battle it out on the climb up the Col de Porte and the final rise up the Motee de Saint-du-Moucherotte on Stage 16. The Vercors range of mountains offer all the ingredients for a tough tour stage. A similar cocktail to the one offered in Villard-de-Lans in 1987 that had left a bad taste in the mouth of Jean-François Bernard.

Stage 17, the Queen Stage of the Tour de France travels to the unprecedented Col de la Loze in the mountains above Méribel at 2,304m high. This 22.5 kilometres climb takes in sections at more than 20% on a newly built road for cyclists that looks spectacular. Only one of the greatest tour riders will be able to win on the Col de la Loze, the stage invites the Tour favourites to be courageous. The stage will take them over the Col de la Madeleine and will fear the finale as they reach the resort of Méribel with 7 brutal kilometres to climb with several sections at gradients over 20% up the Col de la Loze.

The course of the day is made for the best Tour climbers. Stage 18 includes well over 4,000m of climbing, with the peloton will heading up to the beautiful and stunning climbs of the Cormet de Roselend, then the Col des Saisies followed by Les Aravis and finally the Plateau des Glières, a key stronghold of the French Resistance in WW2, before continuing towards La Roche-sur-Foron.

Stage 19 on the Tour de France offers a chance for the Sprinters who have survived the Pyrenees, Jura and Alps to showcase their talents. The 160 kilometres race travels from Bourg-en-Bresse to Champagnole. The podium contenders might have the freedom to start focusing on the challenge that awaits the following day. It’ll therefore be up to the sprinters having survived the mountains, to seize this opportunity to shine. The finish is really made for strong men!

The Penultimate and only Time Trial

End of Tour time-trials are very un-predictable, even more so when it is an uphill climb to the top of La Planche-des-Belles-Filles, 5.9kms long at an average of 8.5%. The position on the final GC podium could dramatically change in an instant on Stage 20.

Onto Champs-Elysées

Emotions will run high on the celebratory final stage 21 of the Tour. Light hearted and fun, a time celebrate and congratulate one another with toasts of champagne from Île-de-France area towards Paris, as the Sprinters prepare themselves to for one last chance to shine. And then its the flower bouquets on the Champs-Elysées, as the Tour champions are congratulated.

Onto Champs-Elysées

Tour de France 2020 Route

Stage Date Start Finish Distance Terrain
1 Sat June 27 Nice Moyen Pays Nice 156km Flat
2 Sun June 28 Nice Haut Pays Nice 187km Mountain
3 Mon June 29 Nice Sisteron 198km Flat
4 Tues June 30 Sisteron Orcières-Merlette 157km Hilly
5 Weds July 1 Gap Privas 183km Flat
6 Thurs July 2 Le Teil Mount Aigoual  191km Hilly
7 Fri July 3 Millau Lavaur  168km Hilly
8 Sat July 4 Cazères-sur-Garonne Loudenvielle  140km Mountain
9 Sun July 5 Pau Laruns  154km Mountain
Rest Day Mon July 6 Charente-Maritimes      
10 Tues July 7 The Château d’Oleron Saint-Martin-de-Ré  170km Flat
11 Weds July 8 Châtelaillon-Plage Poitiers  167km Flat
12 Thurs July 9 Chauvigny Sarran Corrèze  218km Hilly
13 Fri July 10 Châtel-Guyon Puy Mary Cantal  191km Mountain
14 Sat July 11 Clermont-Ferrand Lyon 197km Flat
15 Sun July 12 Lyon Grand Colombier  175km Mountain
Rest Day Mon July 13 Isère      
16 Tues July 14 La Tour-du-Pin  Villard-de-Lans  164km Mountain
17 Weds July 15 Grenoble Col de la Loze  168km Mountain
18 Thurs July 16 Méribel La-Roche-sur-Foron  168km Mountain
19 Fri July 17 Bourg-en-Bresse Champagnole  160km Flat
20 Sat July 18 Lure Planche de Belles Filles  36km Time trial
21 Sun July 19 Mantes-la-Jolie Paris (Champs-Élysées) 122km Flat

Tour de France 2020 Map

Tour de France 2020 Map

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