21 stages include cobbles, dirt roads, two time trials and three big mountain finishes
The route of the 2018 Tour de France has been revealed in Paris, with organiser ASO continuing a blend of tradition and innovation as they look to shake up the racing and seemingly make it harder for Team Sky and Chris Froome to dominate yet again.
The 105th edition of the Tour de France is one of the shortest in recent years with a total distance of 3329km. The 21 days of racing includes a 35km team time trial on stage three, 15 sectors and 21.7km of Paris-Roubaix cobbles on stage 9, a classic finish at L’Alpe d’Huez after three days in the Alps, and then a grand finale of mountain stages in the Pyrenees, before the hilly 31km time trial on the final weekend will decide the winner of the yellow jersey.
Stage 10 – the first mountain stage of the race – includes a section of dirt road on the Plateau des Glières. It is 100km from the finish but comes after a 6km climb at 11 per cent. Stage 17 to the summit of the Col de Portet is only 65km long but half of the stage is uphill. It is the shortest road stage of the 2018 Tour but could be one of the hardest. The sweeping 8.6km haul to the finish at the summit – some 2216 metres above sea level – has been described as a new Tourmalet.