Tour de France 2017 route: Fewer but steeper climbs & two time trials
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 18/10/16 4:21pm
The 2017 Tour de France will contain harder climbs and less time-trialling than previous years, race director Christian Prodhomme has revealed at a ceremony in Paris.
After Chris Froome and Team Sky dominated the 2016 edition, organisers have responded by unveiling a more climber-friendly route that should make for a closer general classification battle.
There are only 23 ascents in total - five fewer than 2016 - but four of them are summit finishes and a handful boast gradients far higher than normally seen in the Tour, which will make it tougher for Team Sky to control mountain stages in the way they did this year.
There will be two individual time trials - 13km on stage one and 23km on stage 20 - but the overall time-trialling distance is down 18km on the 2016 race.
In an apparent reference to Team Sky's dominance, Prudhomme said: "We want to favour the long-range attacks. We want to break the catenaccio [defensive style] on the race."
The race will start in Dusseldorf, Germany, on Saturday, July 1, and also visit Luxembourg and Belgium before its traditional finale in Paris on Sunday, July 23.
It will take in all five of France's major mountain ranges - Vosges, Jura, Pyrenees, Central Massif and Alps - and cover a total of 3,516km.
The summit finishes will come at La Planche des Belles Filles on stage five, Station des Rousses on stage eight, Peyragudes on stage 13 and the Col d'Izoard on stage 18. There are also uphill finishes on stage three at Longwy, Belgium, and stage 14 at Rodez.
The hardest - or 'queen' - stage of the race has been listed as stage nine from Nantua to Chambery in the Jura Mountains, which includes 4,600m of climbing and an ascent of the Grand Colombier, where the race will reach its maximum gradient, of 22 per cent.
The steeper ascents and lower time-trialling distance should give pure climbers such as Nairo Quintana, Romain Bardet and Adam Yates a better chance against Froome, who is one of the best time-triallists in the world and last year made significant gains on his rivals in the tests against the clock.
The race also looks appealing to sprinters, with potential for as many as nine bunch finishes. Mark Cavendish, who is four stage wins away from Eddy Merckx's all-time record of 34, can be particularly encouraged.
Amaury Sports Organisation also announced that La Course by Le Tour de France, the women's one-day race, would take place on a 66km route ending with a summit finish on the Col d'Izoard on Thursday, July 20.
The race has previously been held on the Champs-Elysees on Paris.
Tour de France 2017 route
Stage one: Saturday, July 1 - Dusseldorf to Dusseldorf - 13km individual time trial
Stage two: Sunday, July 2, Dusseldorf to Liege - 202km
Stage three: Monday, July 3 - Verviers to Longwy - 202km (SF)
Stage four: Tuesday, July 4 - Mondorf-les-Bains to Vittel - 203km
Stage five: Wednesday, July 5 - Vittel to La Planches des Belles Filles - 160km (summit finish)
Stage six: Thursday, July 6 - Vesoul to Troyes - 216km
Stage seven: Friday, July 7 - Troyes to Nuits-Saint-Georges - 214km
Stage eight: Saturday, July 8 - Dole to Station des Rousses - 187km (summit finish)
Stage nine: Sunday, July 9 - Nantua to Chambery - 181km
Monday, July 10: First rest day
Stage 10: Tuesday, July 11 - Perigueux to Bergerac - 178km
Stage 11: Wednesday, July 12 - Eymet to Pau - 202km
Stage 12: Thursday, July 13 - Pau to Peyragudes - 214km (summit finish)
Stage 13: Friday, July 14 - Saint-Girons to Foix - 100km
Stage 14: Saturday, July 15 - Blagnac to Rodez - 181km
Stage 15: Sunday, July 16 - Laissac Severac L'Eglise to Le Puy-en-Velay - 189km
Monday, July 17: Second rest day
Stage 16: Tuesday, July 18 - Le Puy-en-Velay to Romans-sur-Isere - 165km
Stage 17: Wednesday, July 19 - La Mure to Serre Chevalier - 183km
Stage 18: Thursday, July 20 - Briancon to Izoard - 178km (summit finish)
Stage 19: Friday, July 21 - Embrun to Salon de Provence - 220km
Stage 20: Saturday, July 22 - Marseille to Marseille - 23km individual time trial
Stage 21: Sunday, July 23 - Montgeron to Paris - 105km