Tour de France: Everything you need to know
Sky Sports brings you our race guide, The Contenders and all the best interviews ahead of the race.
Last Updated: 28/06/13 9:46pm
Twenty-one stages over three weeks are set to provide a thrilling sporting spectacle, and Sky Sports will be on top of all the action.
Here, we build up to the race with a series of interviews, guides and insight.
The 2013 Tour de France will take place over 21 stages, 23 days and 3,403km and will involve 22 teams and 198 riders. There are four jerseys up for grabs - yellow (overall), green (points), polka dot (mountains) and white (best young rider) - as well as prizes for the best overall team and each day's most aggressive rider. Sir Bradley Wiggins may have been ruled out through injury, but the startline will contain three former winners: Alberto Contador, Cadel Evans and Andy Schleck. Read our full guide to the Tour here
Chris Froome is the heavy favourite for the yellow jersey after winning the Tour of Oman, Criterium International, Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphine in the build-up to the race. However, he will face competition from two-time winner Alberto Contador, climbing expert Joaquim Rodriguez, 2011 winner Cadel Evans and young American Tejay van Garderen. There are also a number of dark horses with good chances of finishing on the podium, including Richie Porte and Colombian climber Nairo Quintana. Read our full run-down of contenders here
Chris Froome anticipates frantic start
Chris Froome is predicting a chaotic start to the Tour de France in Corsica and has warned some riders' chances of victory could be lost in the opening days. The 100th edition of the Tour will begin with three road stages on the Mediterranean island, with one flat and two hilly days providing an unusually testing start to the race. "Corsica is going to be a tough one," he told Sky Sports. "Typically at the Tour de France, those first few days are really stressful in the peloton anyway." Read the full story here
Mark Cavendish eyes yellow jersey
Mark Cavendish is targeting winning the yellow jersey on the opening stage of the Tour de France in Corsica. The Tour usually starts with a prologue time trial, but this year offers sprinters a rare opportunity to get their hands on the coveted maillot jaune with a flat stage one from Porto Vecchio to Bastia. The yellow jersey is one of few absentees from Cavendish's CV, but he said: "It's a big, big goal and a huge motivation for a team built around stage wins. It is a strong group of sprinters this year." Read the full story here
The Tour's key climbs
The Tour de France's mountains invariably decide the destination of the yellow jersey and this year that is almost guaranteed to be the case. A brutally mountainous route has been laid out to mark the 100th staging of the race and any rider not on his game in the hills can forget about topping the podium in Paris. We looked at eight climbs that could make or break the riders' chances, including the merciless Mont Ventoux, spectacular Alpe d'Huez, Col de la Madeleine, Cold u Glandon, Ax 3 Domaines and Annecy Semnoz.
The race for the green jersey
Mark Cavendish is looking to win his second points classification at this year's Tour de France but will face stiff competition from a number of sprinters in the peloton. Chief among them is Slovakian prodigy Peter Sagan, who won last year's green jersey at a canter and is favourite to retain it. Germany's Andre Greipel has enjoyed a strong season so far and is also a major rival to Cavendish, while compatriot Marcel Kittel is an emerging threat. For a full list of contenders, click here
Brailsford: We have two of the best
Sir Dave Brailsford is refusing to rule out Team Sky claiming another one-two finish at the Tour de France. Chris Froome is the heavy favourite to secure back-to-back yellow jerseys for Team Sky, and the British squad once again have a second contender with potential to challenge for a place on the podium in Richie Porte. Brailsford said: "In Team Sky, with Richie Porte and Chris Froome, we have got the two, potentially, best riders in the race." Read the full story here
Contador 'only 90 per cent'
Alberto Contador has revealed he is only "at 90 per cent" going into this year's Tour de France, but insists he can beat heavy favourite Chris Froome. "It's difficult to say where I am right now," Contador said. "I would say that I am at about 90 per cent, which is just about where I want to be given the difficulty of the race this year. If I thought I could not beat [Froome] I would not have the motivation to be here at this moment." Read the full story here
Porte eyeing Team Sky one-two
Richie Porte says it would be a "dream" to emulate Chris Froome and finish second behind the Team Sky leader at this summer's Tour de France. "Last year Chris had the same role as I have this year," he told teamsky.com. "I talk with Chris every day. We train a lot together so I know what it entails. He has done his apprenticeship, but he was in such brilliant form last year that he was also able to hold on and finish second on GC. Read the full story here
Richard Moore's predictions
Sky Sports blogger Richard Moore believes Chris Froome will justify his status as race favourite and win this year's Tour de France. He believes Alberto Contador will also live up to billing and present the strongest challenge, finishing second, and feels the third place on the podium will go to the up-and-coming young American Tejay van Garderen. In the race for green jersey, Richard cannot see past Peter Sagan winning for the second consecutive year. Read Richard's full blog here
Team Sky name strong squad
Chris Froome's bid to win this summer's Tour de France will be supported by a Team Sky squad packed with climbing experts, Olympic champions and stage-race specialists. Team Sky have named the same squad that helped Froome dominate the Criterium du Dauphine earlier this month, with Kanstantsin Siutsou added to make up the nine-man roster. Also included are Richie Porte, Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh, Ian Stannard, Vasil Kiryienka, David Lopez and Edvald Boasson Hagen. Read the full story here