Preview of the Tour de France route 2023
The Tour de France 2023 is an ideal course for general classification riders that are strong climbers. There are four mountain finishes and only one time trial – an individual time trial that is, whose course rather goes uphill.
The 110th edition of the Tour of France starts on 1 July in Bilbao and ends 21 stages later on 23 July in Paris on the Champs-Élysées.
8 flat stages, 4 stages over undulating terrain, 8 mountain stages and 1 individual time trial add up to a total of 3404 kilometres on the route.
The map of the Tour of France 2023
Tour de France 2023: Grand Depart in Basque Country
The Grand Depart in the Basque Country region had already been decided on for some time and by doing so it became quite obvious that the first two stages there would not be made for sprinters, but rather for puncheurs and classic riders with strong climbing skills.
The undulating start with 33,000 metres elevation gain with start and finish in Bilbao, will be followed by a homage to the Clásica San Sebastián. The longest stage of this Tour de France (209 kilometres) largely follows the course of this cycling classic through the Basque country.
On day three, the Tour returns to its home country, France, and gives the sprinters their first chance to win a stage in Bayonne. One day later, it will likely be as well the “fast men” that celebrate a win in Nogaro. There, the final kilometres run over a Formula 1 test track, the Circuit Paul Armagnac.
Stage five then leads riders into the Pyrenees, but it won’t be a spectacular, because both climbs are neither difficult nor long enough. From the summit of the Col de Marie Blanque it is another 18 kilometres to the finish in Laruns.
The seventh section climbs up to 2000 metres and the Tourmalet. It starts in Tarbes and ends on the Plateau du Cambasque – not too difficult a climb with an average gradient of 5.4 percent over 16 kilometres, but the first mountain finish of this Tour de France.
Tour de France 2023: Puy de Dome stage finish again after 35 years
After the early visit to the Pyrenees, sprinters will get another chance to finish with a sprint royal in Bordeaux after 170 kilometres, followed by a transfer stage from Libourne to Limoges over an undulating 201 kilometres that will take the peloton close to the next mountain range – the Massif Central.
After a 35-year absence, stage 9 leads to the Puy de Dome: a volcanic mountain in the Auvergne region, on whose slopes epic battles were fought in the past. The last four kilometres will turn the finale into a battle on the volcano, as the gradient averages almost 12 per cent.
The battle for the yellow jersey will be decided in the Alps
After the first rest day in Clermont-Ferrand, the next two stages will run through the Massif Central. It is possible that stage 11 also ends in a bunch sprint in Moulins due to its topography. After another undulating stage, the peloton reaches the French Alps and Grand Colombier at the end of stage 13 marks the third mountain finish.
One day later, another mountain stage leads from Annemasse near Lake Geneva to Morzine Les Portes du Soleil. Riders will climb 4200 metres elevation gain and the passes Ramaz and Joux Plane. The next day, the route has some more climbs in stock – i.e., Col de la Forclaz de Montmin, Croix Fry and Aravis – before it reaches Saint-Gervais, and from there, the course runs in the shadow of the mighty Mont Blanc, up to Le Bettex.
After these intense climbing tours, the peloton will rest for a day before tackling the only time trial of this Tour de France. 22 undulating kilometres lead the riders from Passy to Combloux, the time trial will end with a six-kilometre climb towards the finish.
Tour de France 2023: Queen stage over the Col de la Loze
A lot of elevation gain and a “young acquaintance” await the riders on stage 17 – the queen stage of this Tour. 5000 metres elevation gain are on the menu in form of Cormet de Roselend, Cote de Longfoy and Col de la Loze, which only appeared in the roadbook of the Tour for the first time in 2020, before the stage ends on the runway of the Altiport in Courchevel.
The next two days will very likely be dominated by escapees, as the sprinters’ teams – drained of power after the tough mountain stages – will have a hard time controlling the peloton after the tough Alpine stages.
Last hard day in the Vosges mountains
After a transfer to the Vosges, the last mountain stage will be ridden on the penultimate day of the Tour de France. 3,600 metres elevation gain on a distance of only 133 kilometres can still cause shifts in the general classification’s top positions, and each of the many climbs and the subsequent descents offer a chance to attack. The Alsatian menu offers Ballon d’Alsace, Col de la Croix des Moinats, Col de Grosse Pierre, Col de la Schlucht, Petit Ballon and Col du Platzerwasel. Bon appetit!
The final stage will pass the cycling venues of the Olympic Games 2024 and end on the magnificent Parisian boulevard Champs-Élysées.
1 stage | 1. July | Bilbao – Bilbao | 182 km
2 stage | 2. July| Vitoria-Gasteiz – Donostia San Sebastián | 209 km
3 stage | 3. July | Amorebieta-Etxano – Bayonne | 185 km
4 stage | 4. July | Dax – Nogaro | 182 km
5 stage | 5. July | Pau – Laruns | 165 km
6 stage | 6. July | Tarbes – Cauterets-Cambasque| 145 km
7 stage | 7. July | Mont-de-Marsan – Bordeaux | 170 km
8 stage | 8. July | Libourne – Limoges | 201 km
9 stage | 9. July | Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat – Puy de Dome | 184 km
10 stage | 11. July | Vulcana – Issoire | 167 km
11 stage | 12. July | Clermont-Ferrand – Moulins | 180 km
12 stage | 13. July | Roanne – Belleville-en-Beaujolais| 169 km
13 stage | 14. July | Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne Grand Colombier | 138 km
14 stage | 15. July | Annemasse – Morzine Les Portes du Soleil | 152 km
15 stage | 16. July | Morzine Les Portes du Soleil – Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc | 180 km
16 stage | 18. July | Passy – Combloux (EZF) | 22 km
17 stage | 19. July | Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc – Courchevel| 166 km
18 stage | 18. July | Moûtiers Bourg-en-Bresse | 186 km
19 stage | 20. July | Moirans-en-Montagne – Poligny | 173 km
20 stage | 22. July | Belfort – Le Markstein Fellering | 133 km
21 stage | 23. July | Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines – Paris Champs-Élysées | 115 km
graphics: @ A.S.O. geoatlas