Cycling in France

Do you want to go on vacation to France next summer? Then you may also like to know the route of the Tour de France of 2018.

The Tour de France organization A.S.O. today announced the route for La Grande Boucle next year. The 2018 edition of the Tour de France starts on Saturday July 7th in the Vendée with two flat stages and a 35km team trial around the town of Cholet. Afterwards, the Tour continues its route to Brittany, where there are also three hilly stages, including a stage finish on the Mûr-de-Bretagne. Cadel Evans secured a stage win at this hill in 2011, while Alexis Vuillermoz won at the Mûr-de-Bretagne in 2015.
The flat first part of the Tour will be completed with three stages in Northern France with arrivals in Chartres, Amiens and Roubaix. In the stage to Roubaix on Sunday July 15th there will be cobblestones. In the same region Lars Boom managed to win a rainy cobblestone stage in 2014, while the later the winner of the Tour de France, Vicenzo Nibali, took a clear lead over his competitors.

Three stages in the Alps

Thereafter, the riders keep a rest day in Annecy, at the foot of the Alps. Then there are three stages in the Alps. On Tuesday, July 17th, the peloton will go from Annecy to Le Grand Bornand ski resort via the Glières plateau and the Col de la Colombière. After this hard stage, another short and difficult stage will follow to La Rosière. This is a ski resort at an altitude of 1850m somewhere halfway the Petit Saint-Bernard Pass, at the Italian border. Before this final climb the riders will also have to tackle the more than 1900 meters high Col du Cormet de Roselend, where there is a magnificent mountain landscape. It is for the first time that La Rosière will host a stage finish. That can not be said for the final climb of the next stage: L’Alpe d’Huez! The famous ski resort welcomes the Tour de France next year for the thirtieth time after a hard stage which includes the Col de la Madeleine and the Col de la Croix de Fer. Halfway through the stage, as in 2015, the peloton will also have to climb up the Lacets de Montvernier. If you want to rent a race bike in the Alps area during the holidays, try Rent my Bike.

Very short stage in the Pyrenees and finish at 2215m altitude

On Tuesday, July 24th, it goes to the well-known village Bagnères-de-Luchon in the Pyrenees. In 2016, Chris Froome was the strongest in Luchon after a spectacular descent from the Col de Peyresourde. This year, the riders reach Luchon from the east, via the Col du Portillon. The Peyresourde will be climbed the next day from the start in Luchon. The stage that will be held on Wednesday 25th July will enter the history books as one of the shortest mountain stages ever. The ride is only 65km and after the Peyresourde and the Col d’Azet, the final climb to Col de Portet will have to be tackled. The 2215m high Col de Portet is a climb of more than 16km and it may be a decisive summit finish in this Tour de France. Then follows an easier stage to Pau and then another final mountain stage from Lourdes to Laruns via the famous Pyrenees giants Tourmalet and Aubisque.

Only one time trial for Froome and Dumoulin. Is the Tour 2018 more advantaguous for Quintana?

Before the Tour de France will end on Sunday July 29th with the traditional circuit in central Paris, an individual time trial of 31km will take place in the French Basque Country on Saturday. If Tom Dumoulin participates in the 2018 edition of the Tour de France, he will be the favorite for this time trial. The question is, however, whether this overall Tour de France will suit him and that he will challenge Chris Froome or that he will choose again for the Giro d’Italia as he did this year. With only a medium individual time trial and a team trial, Dumoulin’s ability to distance his competitors via the time trial is limited. In addition, the mountains seem harder than this year. It is therefore in any case not clear that Dumoulin will be Froome’s most important challenger: Quintana and Bardet are not to be ruled out as well, provided they survive the cobblestones without too many problems. Nevertheless, tension seems guaranteed!

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