Tour de France 2015: Route features just 14km of ITT; Alpe d'Huez on final Saturday
Last Updated: 22/10/14 3:38pm
Just 14 kilometres of individual time-trialling have been included in the route for the 2015 Tour de France.
The course for the 102nd edition of cycling’s showpiece event was unveiled on Wednesday and includes just one solo test against the clock – the opening stage around Utrecht in the Netherlands.
The fight for the yellow jersey is therefore almost certain to be decided in the mountains and could come down to the iconic finish at Alpe d’Huez on the penultimate stage.
Alpe d’Huez is one of five summit finishes in the race and provides the climax of four days in the Alps, which also feature mountain stages to Pra-Loup and La Toussuire. Finishes at La Pierre Saint-Martin and Plateau de Beille are likely to be the main battlegrounds in the Pyrenees.
2015 Tour de France
- Five mountain-top finishes
- Seven high-mountain stages in total
- 14km of individual time-trialling
- 28km of team time-trialling
- Three short, steep uphill finishes
- One stage containing cobbled sectors
The lack of time trialling may be a blow to the hopes of Britain's Chris Froome, who generally excels against the clock relative to the likes of Vuelta a Espana winner Alberto Contador and reigning champion Vincenzo Nibali.
Froome has hinted that it is not certain he will even focus on the Tour next year but Nibali, Contador and Colombian climber Nairo Quintana are expected to be the main contenders.
Next year’s Tour starts on Saturday July 4 with the time trial in Utrecht and stays in the Netherlands for stage two – a flat stage to the exposed artificial island of Neeltje Jans.
The race then heads across the border to Belgium for stage three, which starts in Antwerp and finishes atop the short, steep Mur de Huy climb which serves as the finish of the Fleche Wallonne classic each year.
The route back into France, from Seraing to Cambrai, features seven pavé sectors as the Tour opts to go back over cobbled terrain following the dramatic stage five of this year’s race.
Three flat stages across northern France follow before another short and punchy uphill finish to Mur de Bretagne, where Cadel Evans won in 2011.
The following day features a 28 kilometre team time trial, a somewhat surprising choice as crashes and abandonments in the first week may lead to a contest between squads of unequal numbers.
An air transfer from Brittany to Pau in the Pyrenees follows before the first mountain test to La Pierre Saint-Martin, which is followed the next day by a trip over the Col d’Aspin and Col du Tourmalet on the way to Cauterets.
After a battle on the 15.8km, 7.9% climb to Plateau de Beille, four transition stages take the race into the Alps, but the general classification contenders could spring into action on a steep climb to Mende at the end of stage 14.
Following the second rest day the race builds towards its conclusion in the Alps, with the rarely-used climb to Pra-Loup – where Eddy Merckx was famously dropped by Bernard Thevenet in 1975 – first up.
A trip over the Col du Glandon and the short, twisty climb of Lacets de Montvernier follow the next day before a descent finish into Saint-Jean de Maurienne.
The Col de la Croix de Fer and Col du Mollard are en route to La Toussuire, while the Alpe d’Huez stage takes the short route over the Col du Telegraphe and Col du Galibier which featured in the 2011 race.
After an air transfer back towards the north of the country, the final stage of the race is the usual ceremonial run into the centre of Paris.
2015 Tour de France route:
Stage 1: Saturday, July 4 - Utrecht - 14km individual time trial
Stage 2: Sunday, July 5 - Utrecht to Zeeland - 166km
Stage 3: Monday, July 6 - Antwerp to Huy - 154km
Stage 4: Tuesday, July 7 - Seraing to Cambrai - 221km
Stage 5: Wednesday, July 8 - Arras to Amiens - 189km
Stage 6: Thursday, July 9 - Abbeville to Le Havre - 191km
Stage 7: Friday, July 10 - Livarot to Fougeres - 190km
Stage 8: Saturday, July 11 - Rennes to Mur de Bretagne - 179km
Stage 9: Sunday, July 12 - Vannes to Plumelec - 28km team time trial
Monday, July 13 - first rest day
Stage 10: Tuesday, July 14 - Tarbes to La Pierre Saint-Martin - 167km
Stage 11: Wednesday, July 15 - Pau to Cauterets-Vallee de Saint-Savin - 188km
Stage 12: Thursday, July 16 - Lannemezan to Plateau de Beille - 195km
Stage 13: Friday, July 17 - Muret to Rodez - 200km
Stage 14: Saturday, July 18 - Rodez to Mende - 178km
Stage 15: Sunday, July 19 - Mende to Valance - 182km
Stage 16: Monday, July 20 - Bourg de Peage to Gap - 201km
Tuesday, July 21 – second rest day
Stage 17: Wednesday, July 22 - Digne-les-Bains to Pra-Loup - 161km
Stage 18: Thursday, July 23 - Gap to Saint-Jean de Maurienne - 185km
Stage 19: Friday, July 24 - Saint-Jean de Maurienne to La Toussuire-Les Sybelles - 138km
Stage 20: Saturday, July 25 - Modane Valfrejus to Alpe d'Huez - 110km
Stage 21: Sunday, July 26 - Sevres to Paris - 107km