Chris Froome says Tour de France 2017 will be won in mountains
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 18/10/16 5:52pm
Chris Froome believes the 2017 Tour de France will be “won or lost in the mountains” after a climber-friendly route was unveiled by organisers in Paris on Tuesday.
The race will contain only 23 climbs - five fewer than 2016 - but four are summit finishes and several are far steeper than those normally tackled by the Tour.
There has also been a reduction in individual time-trialling distance, with 13km and 23km tests on stages one and 20 representing an 18km fall from this year's race.
Froome said: "It's definitely going to be a climbers' race, from what I can tell. It's very light on time trial kilometres, but that's all part of the race and that's something I'm going to have to focus my training on, being the best I can be on the climbs.
"Certainly, from my first reaction, there were quite a few stages going up over 2,000m. The Izoard [stage 18's summit finish] goes up to 2,300m. That's going to be an absolute beast of a stage.
"Initial feelings are that it's going to be a race that is won or lost in the mountains. Of course, it's the Tour and anything can happen, so we have to be ready for all eventualities."
Froome won the 2016 Tour thanks largely to the significant gains he made on his rivals in the race's two time trials.
Richie Porte, who is likely to be one of the favourites next year, believes the winner of the 2017 race will have to be a master of all disciplines.
The Australian said: "It's quite a balanced course. There's not a lot of time trialling, but there is quite a bit of climbing, but descending to the finish as well.
"There's quite a spread between the Planche des Belles Filles on the fifth stage and then the Col d'Izoard on the 14th. There's a lot of stages in between there with crosswinds.
"I think it's typical to stand here now and saw that it's not a climber's Tour, but the road will always decide that."
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 (SF)
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 (SF)
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 (SF)
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 (SF)
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