The 2019 Tour de France Route is "The Highest in History"

Tour de France  organizers showed off the 2019 route today and it’s clear climbing specialists are going to be happy. “The highest Tour in history” features a record 30 categorized climbs and five summit finishes.

The Tour will start with a nod to Belgian legend Eddy Merckx, as the 2019 edition kicks off in Brussels  on July 6 and ends 3,460 kilometers later on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. After Belgium, the Tour heads into the hilly Massif Central region of France, and then down to the Pyrénées before culminating with three consecutive days in the Alps.

Classic climbs will dot the map, with the Tourmalet, La Planche des Belles Filles, the Col d’Izoard, the Col du Galibier, and the Montee de Tignes all on the menu.

With an abundance of potentially decisive mountain stages, the scope for stealing time from rivals during long time trials has been limited. Next year’s edition features a 27km team time trial on stage 2 around the city center of Brussels and Stage 13 will be a 27km individual time trial on rolling terrain around Pau. There won’t be a lot of mileage for making up time.

Frankly, it will be impossible to win this Tour unless you are a great climber.

The Fun Starts Early

Most Tours are backloaded with fun. You could easily skip the first week and hardly miss a beat. Fortunately, the 2019 edition has opportunities for GC action in the first stretch of stages. Stage 3 and 5 feature some fun punchy climbs and La Planche des Belles Filles comes at the end of stage 6.

Uphill Finishes!

On that Stage 6 again, it’s the first summit finish of five. Mountaintop finales are some of the most exciting viewing in the sport, last year had three, adding two will up the fun factor considerably.

Another quick goodie on Stage 6, after passing the point where the climb has traditionally  finished, the peloton will continue onto a steep gravel road to the summit.

The Tourmalet Test

Stage 14 of next year’s Tour will head to the Tourmalet. It’s only a 117-kilometer stage with the Col du Soulor around the halfway mark. It’s the day after the ITT which means things could get very interesting. Go too hard in the time trial and you might lose serious time on the mountain.

2019 Tour de France route

July 6
Stage 1, Brussels, 192km
July 7
Stage 2, Brussels, 27km TTT
July 8
Stage 3, Binche to Epernay, 214km
July 9
Stage 4, Reims to Nancy, 215km
July 10
Stage 5, Saint-Die-des-Voges to Colmar, 169km
July 11
Stage 6, Mulhouse to Planche des Belles Filles, 157km
July 12
Stage 7, Belfort to Chalon-sur-Saone, 230km
July 13
Stage 8, Macon to Saint-Etienne, 199km
July 14
Stage 9 Saint-Etienne to Brioude, 170km
July 15
Stage 10, Saint-Flour to Albi, 218km
July 16
Rest Day
July 17
Stage 11, Albi to Toulouse, 167km
July 18
Stage 12, Toulouse to Bagneres-de-Bigorre, 202km
July 19
Stage 13, Pau, 27km TT
July 20
Stage 14, Tarbes to Tourmalet, 117km
July 21
Stage 15, Limoux to Foix, 185km
July 22
Rest Day
July 23
Stage 16, Nimes, 177km
July 24
Stage 17, Pont du Gard to Gap, 206km
July 25
Stage 18, Embrun to Valloire, 207km
July 26
Stage 19, Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Tignes, 123km
July 27
Stage 20, Albertville to Val Thorens, 131km
July 28
Stage 21, Rambouillet to Paris, 127km