The highlight of the year for cycling punters gets underway on Saturday 1st July when the 2017 Tour de France sets off from Dusseldorf. Chris Froome is the defending champion and we begin our coverage with a look at the overall route and each of the teams as they confirm their start lists.
Froome is bidding for a fourth TdF title in the General Classification and we will deal with the betting previews in some detail in the build up to the tour. First up, a sensible starting point for those taking a long term view is a summary of the route and the start list.
The race organisers have conjured up the following route, summarized as follows:
- 9 flat stages
- 5 hilly stages
- 5 mountain stages including altitude finishes (La Planche des Belles Filles, Peyragudes, Izoard)
- 2 individual time-trials stages
Saturday 1st July Stage 1 Düsseldorf 14 km (ITT) Preview
Sunday 2nd July Stage 2 Düsseldorf to Liege 204 km (Flat) Preview
Monday 3rd July Stage 3 Verviers to Longwy 212.5 km (Hilly) Preview
Tuesday 4th July Stage 4 Mondorf-les-Bains / Vittel 207.5 km (Flat) Preview
Wednesday 5th July Stage 5 Vittel / La planche des belles filles 160.5 km (Hilly) Preview
Thursday 6th July Stage 6 Vesoul / Troyes 216 km (Flat) Preview
Friday 7th July Stage 7 Troyes / Nuits-Saint-Georges 213.5 km (Flat) Preview
Saturday 8th July Stage 8 Dole / Station des rousses 187.5 km (Mountains) Preview
Sunday 9th July Stage 9 Nantua / Chambéry 181.5 km (Mountains) Preview
Monday 10th July Rest Day 1
Tuesday 11th July Stage 10 Périgueux / Bergerac 178 km (Flat)
The riders return from the rest day for a flat stage which has two Cat 4 climbs but overall its flat and one would expect it to be a day for the sprinters.
Wednesday 12th July Stage 11 Eymet / Pau 203.5 km (Flat)
We head to the Pyrenees with this flat stage which has just one Cat 4 climb about three quarters of the way through. The profile rises gradually in the second half of the stage before we drop down towards Pau. Breakaway contenders will have a cross by this one but it could be another day for the sprinters.
Thursday 13th July Stage 12 Pau / Peyragudes 214.5 km (Mountains)
A long day of climbing awaits with six ~Categorized climbs including two Cat’s and the HC Port de Balès is one of three tough climbs situated towards the finish. After that there is a cat 1 and a short but steep Cat 2 leading to the finish.
Friday 14th July Stage 13 Saint-Girons / Foix 101 km (Mountains)
This stage is less than half the length of the previous day but there are still three Cat 1’s, the last of which tops out at 74 km and thereafter we have a long descent to Foix.
Saturday 15th July Stage 14 Blagnac / Rodez 181.5 km (Hilly)
The second half of this stage rolls up and down with two Cat 3’s, the second of which tops out around 35km from home. After two tough days of climbing a breakaway could stick.
Sunday 16th July Stage 15 Laissac-Sévérac l'Église / Le Puy-en-Velay 189.5 km (Hilly)
There is no summit finish and its tagged as “hilly” but two of the four climbs en route are Cat 1’s and it’s up and down nearly all day. The final climb is a Cat 4 after which we have about 13km, mainly downhill to the finish.
Monday 17th July Rest Day 2
Tuesday 18th July Stage 16 Le Puy-en-Velay / Romans-sur-Isère 165 km (Flat)
The two climbs, a Cat 3 and a Cat 4 come early after which there is a long downhill stretch before the profile levels out for the final 50kms.
Wednesday 19th July Stage 17 La Mure / Serre-Chevalier 183 km (Mountains)
A brutal day of climbing in the Alps with two of the four climbs classified HC, the Col de la Croix de Fer (24 km at 5.2%) and then the Col du Galibier (17.7 km 6.9%) after which there is the best part of 30 km downhill to the finish.
Thursday 20th July Stage 18 Briançon / Izoard 179.5 km (Mountains)
The final day in the mountains and this time we do have a summit finish. There is a Cat 3 relatively early but after 129.5 km we have the Cat 1 Col de Vars (9.3 km at 7.5%) and finally the Col d'Izoard (14.1 km at 7.3%)
Friday 21st July Stage 19 Embrun / Salon-de-Provence 222.5 km (Flat)
The longest stage of the tour has three Cat 3 climbs along the route although the last one tops out at 177.5 km in and the finish is flat.
Saturday 22nd July Stage 20 Marseille 22.5 km (ITT)
The second of the time trials and although wqe have seen many longer tests against the clock in Grand Tours, at 22.5 km but given it’s stage 20, the leading GC contenders will need to have something in reserve on the final day to make a move or consolidate position. There is one climb just after half way and they start and finish in the Velodrome, Marseille football stadium.
Sunday 23rd July Stage 21 Montgeron / Paris Champs-Élysées 103.5 km (Flat)
The traditional finish on the Champs-Élysées which should see the sprinters who have survived the previous 20 stages battle it out for stage honours.
Tour de France 2017 Start List
Chris Froome, Sergio Henao, Christian Knees, Mikel Landa, Mikel Nieve, Michal Kwiatkowski, Luke Rowe, Geraint Thomas, Vasil Kiryienka
Andrey Amador, Daniele Bennati, Carlos Betancur, Jonathan Castroviejo, Imanol Erviti, Jesús Herrada , Nairo Quintana, Jasha Sütterlin, Alejandro Valverde
Astana Pro Team
Fabio Aru, Dario Cataldo, Jakob Fuglsang, Andriy Grivko, Dmitriy Gruzdev), Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev, Alexey Lutsenko), Michael Valgren, Andrey Zeits
UAE Team Emirates
Darwin Atapuma, Matteo Bono, Kristijan Durasek, Vegard Stake Laengen, Mori Manuele, Marco Marcato, Louis Meintjes, Ben Swift, Diego Ulissi
Ag2r La Mondiale
Jan Bakelants, Romain Bardet, Axel Domont, Mathias Frank, Ben Gastauer, Cyril Gautier, Pierre Latour, Oliver Naesen, Alexis Vuillermoz
George Bennett, Robert Gesink, Dylan Groenewegen, Tom Leezer, Paul Martens, Primoz Roglic, Timo Roosen, Jos van Emden, Robert Wagner
Alberto Contador, André Cardoso, John Degenkolb, Koen de Kort, Fabio Felline, Michal Gogl, Markel Irizar, Bauke Mollema, Jarlinson Pantano
Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling
Yukiya Arashiro, Grega Bole, Borut Bozic, Janez Brajkovic, Ondrej Cink, Sonny Colbrelli), Tsgabu Grmay, Ion Izagirre, Javier Moreno
Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling
Alberto Bettiol, Patrick Bevin, Nathan Brown, Simon Clarke, Taylor Phinney, Pierre Rolland, Andrew Talansky, Rigoberto Urán, Dylan van Baarle
BMC Racing Team
Richie Porte, Damiano Caruso, Stefan Kung, Nicholas Roche, Alessandro De Marchi, Amael Moinard, Michael Schar, Greg Van Avermaet, Danilo Wyss
Team Dimension Data
Edvald Boasson Hagen, Mark Cavendish, Steve Cummings, Bernhard Eisel, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Serge Pauwels, Mark Renshaw, Scott Thwaites, Jaco Venter
Nikias Arndt, Warren Barguil, Roy Curvers, Simon Geschke, Michael Matthews, Ramon Sinkeldam, Laurens ten Dam, Mike Teunissen, Albert Timmer
Davide Cimolai, Mickaël Delage), Arnaud Démare, Jacopo Guarnieri, Ignatas Konovalovas, Olivier Le Gac, Rudy Molard, Thibaut Pinot, Arthur Vichot
Emanuel Buchmann, Maciej Bodnar, Marcus Burghardt, Rafa Majka, Jay McCarthy, Pawel Poljanski , Juraj Sagan, Peter Sagan, Rudiger Selig
Tony Martin, Maurits Lammertink, Alexander Kristoff, Rick Zabel, Reto Hollenstein, Marco Haller, Robert Kiserlovski, Tiago Machado, Nils Politt
Maxime Bouet, Brice Feillu, Élie Gesbert, Romain Hardy, Dan McLay, Pierre-Luc Périchon), Laurent Pichon, Eduardo Sepúlveda, Florian Vachon
Lars Bak, Tiesj Benoot, Thomas De Gendt, Tony Gallopin, Andre Greipel, Adam Hansen, Jurgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Tim Wellens
Thomas Voeckler, Sylvain Chavanel, Lilian Calmejane, Adrien Petit, Romain Sicard, Perrig Quéméneur, Angelo Tulik, Thomas Boudat and Yohann Gene
Jack Bauer, Gianluca Brambilla, Philippe Gilbert, Marcel Kittel, Daniel Martin, Fabio Sabatini, Zdenek Stybar, Matteo Trentin, Julien Vermote
Cofidis, Solutions Credits
Nacer Bouhanni , Dimitri Claeys, Christophe Laporte, Cyril Lemoine, Luis Ángel Maté, Daniel Navarro , Florian Sénéchal, Julien Simon, Geoffrey Soupe
Michael Albasini, Esteban Chaves, Luke Durbridge, Mathew Hayman, Damien Howson, Daryl Impey, Jens Keulekeire, Roman Kreuziger, Simon Yates
Wanty – Groupe Gobert
Frederik Backaert, Thomas Degand, Guillaume Martin, Marco Minnaard, Yoann Offredo, Andrea Pasqualon, Dion Smith, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Pieter Vanspeybrouck
Outright betting previews will be available during the week and we also have previews of every stage of the race.
Remember you can have your own say on all this week’s matches on our discussion forum