2023 Tour de France Route Revealed in Paris
Before revealing next year’s Tour de France route, tour organizer ASO started the reveal event by thanking Denmark and Copenhagen for arranging a magnificent start of this year’s Tour de France. ASO was grateful to be able to have the Tour begin in Copenhagen, because it is the most cycling-friendly city in the world and ASO wants cycling sport to appeal to a wider audience and contribute to making more people ride bikes as part of their daily lives.
The grand depart in Denmark reached viewing rates of 74% and the 2022 Tour was won by Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard (Team Jumbo-Visma) and many tour riders were greatly impressed with the number of spectators along the roads of Denmark cheering on the peloton and celebrating GC home favorite Vingegaard and Denmark’s Magnus Cort (Team EF Education-EasyPost) who wore the polka-dot jersey because of his early lead in the mountains classification.
Tour de France 2023 will take place from July 1 to July 23 and will be 3,404 kilometers long. The 2023 Tour de France will begin in Bilbao – the largest city of the Basque Country, challenge riders to compete in twenty-one inspiring stages, before reaching its conclusion in an extraordinary sunset finish on the Champs-Élysées Avenue in Paris. Riders will contest 1 individual time trial, 6 flat stages, 6 hilly stages, and 8 mountain stages.
The Tour de France route has been designed to appeal as much as possible to climbers, with more mountain stages and fewer individual time trial kilometers. It will attract climbers who are unable to compete with time trial specialists such as current Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), and world champion Remco Evenepoel (Team Soudal-QuickStep).
The Tour de France organizers have chosen a spectacular start week for next year’s Tour and the nine stages before the first rest day will be unusually challenging for the riders.
Stage 1 will start in front of the Guggenheim Museum and take the riders on a loop route from Bilbao to Bilbao and the Tour de France 2023 will remain in the Basque Country for stage 2 from Vitoria-Gasteiz to San Sebastian / Donostia. With its 209-kilometer distance, it will be the longest stage of the 2023 Tour.
The Tour de France will travel to France in stage 3, that takes the riders from Amorebieta-Etxano to Bayonne in southwestern France, close to the Pyrenees. The flat stage should offer opportunities for the first battle between the sprinters of the 2023 Tour.
Stage 4 from Dax to Nogaro (182 kilometers) is designed to be an additional opportunity for the sprint aces in the Tour peloton, including the impatient sprinters who failed to make their mark in stage 3. There’s only room for one winner per sprint stage and by now many will be desperate to show their great skills in the final sprint battle before the mountains. This time on the Nogaro circuit also known as the Paul Armagnac motorsport race track, named after Armagnac who tragically died in a training accident in 1962.
Pau will welcome riders for the start of stage 5 and the riders will challenge the Col de Soudet before descending into the valley, only to be faced with a climb to the top of the Col de Marie Blanque before reaching the finish town of Laruns.
Stage 7 begins in Mont-de-Marsan, located on the borders of the Landes Forest and halfway between the Pyrenees and the Atlantic Ocean. Mont-de-Marsan is known as the town of the three rivers because la Douze, le Midou and la Midouze meet near the city center and the city attracts many contemporary art fans because of its Sculptures Festival and museum in an ancient Romanesque Chapel. The stage takes the riders on a 170-kilometer flat ride to Bordeaux and the route has a mouth-watering appeal to sprinters, because as the saying goes: when a Tour stage finishes in Bordeaux, a sprinter will win it and delicious wine shall be served.
Stage 9 will start in Saint Leonard de Noblat, hometown of French former cycling star Raymond Poulidor, known as the eternal second. The 184-kilometer stage will finish with a challenging 13.3-kilometer climb to Puy de Dôme (7.7% average gradient, 12,2% max) – the place where Poulidor fought a furious battle against Jacques Anquetil in the 1964 Tour de France.
Stage 13 takes place on Bastille Day (French National Day) and is a challenging 138-kilometer mountain stage from Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne. The whole stage will take place in the Ain department and will conclude on the legendary Grand Colombier climb - a stunning finish location with its mountains and lake views (17.4-kilometer climb, 7.1% average gradient). Perhaps a Frenchman will prevail to the great joy of the celebrating home crowd? Though often climbed in the Tour, it is only the second time in race history that a stage finishes on the Grand Colombier.
On Stage 14 the riders bid hello to an additional mountain stage, this time on a 152-kilometer route from Annemasse, near Lake Geneva, to Morzine les Portes du Soleil. The route includes four categorized climbs, including the Col de la Ramaz (13.9-kilometer; 7.1% average gradient) and the famous Col de Joux Plane (11.6-km; 8.5%), before a fast and risky descend to Morzine.
Stage 15 will be the final stage before the final rest day of the 2023 Tour and the 180-kilometer stage will also be mountainous. The start location is Les Gets Les Portes du Soleil and the route takes the Tour de France peloton through Haute-Savoie upwards to Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc and includes three categorized climbs along the way. General classification riders will likely attempt to use the 17% gradients on the Amerands/Le Bettex climb to make a difference and advance in the overall rankings while hoping to gain a spot on the podium in Paris.
Following Monday’s well-deserved and much needed rest day 2 in Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc, stage 16 offers the only individual time trial of Tour de France 2023. The mountainous route from Passy is 22-kilometers long and culminates on the climb to Combloux.
Stage 17 is a day to mark in the calendar. The 166-kilometer stage is a significant and possibly decisive challenge from Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc to Courchevel. The stage offers more than 5,000 meters of vertical gain. Riders will contest the Col des Saisies (13.3-kilometer; 5.3%), the Cormet de Roselend (19.9-kilometer; 6%), the Cote de Longefoy (6.6-kilometer; 7.6%), and combat the exhausting 28.4-kilometer Col de la Loze climb (6% average gradient) before reaching Courchevel. Though the Tour general classification challengers will not take off and disappear into thin air, the final meters will be contested on the 18% incline of the altiport runway.
Stage 19 is the lakes stage taking the riders along a scenic route in terrain dominated by beautiful lakes.
Stage 20 offers the final chances for riders to shine before the Tour reaches Paris. The 133-kilometer stage from Belfort to Le Markstein Fellering offers a mountainous route in the Vosges Mountains with no less than 5 mountaintop crossings, including the 11.5-kilometer Ballon d’Alsace (5.3%), the 5.2-kilometer Col de la Croix des Moinats (7%), the challenging 9.3-kilometer Petit Ballon with its average gradient of 8.1%, and the 7.1-kilometer Col du Platzerwasel (8.4%). This will be the final chance for general classification challengers to gain valuable time and advance in the rankings before the sprinters are expected to dominate the final parade stage to Paris. Look for teams who have yet to win a stage to send riders into long breakaways to try to prevent Tour disaster.
Next year’s Tour de France route will not include a team time trial.
The Tour de France race will celebrate its 120th anniversary in 2023 and the route has been designed with more climbing and less time trials to honor and pay tribute to the pioneers of the 1903 Tour who tried their luck on the twisty roads of both the French and Spanish/Basque parts of the Pyrenees. The 2023 Tour will feature no less than 30 climbs of category 2 or above.
Commenting on next year’s Tour de France route, former Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) said it is an interesting route with appealing elements for him. He said he is happy with the challenging and demanding route and will await actions from other general classification favorites before deciding if he should approach next year’s race more conservatively than he did this year. It will also depend on who will choose to compete in the Tour de France and who will opt for next year’s Giro d’Italia or Vuelta a Espana instead. He believes the time trial will be a furious challenge between the general classification favorites.
AG2R-Citroen Team Manager Vincent Lavenu was pleased with the route and the reduced number of time trials. Lavenu told Roadcycling.com he is looking forward to a Tour that will be dominated by battles in the mountains. His team was unfortunately very affected by crashes and Covid-19 in this year’s race.
“Our AG2R-Citroën team can play a big part in a Tour de France like this with our riders Ben O’Connor and Aurelien Paret-Peintre. Our Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region will be honored, and it is always an essential region to ride through. The 2023 Tour has some unique features, including the return to Puy de Dome (where Anquetil fought Poulidor in 1964) which is very symbolic,” Lavenu said.
“It’s a very hard Tour de France route and you can see this from the opening weekend, which is going to be very nervous with all those hard and steep climbs in the Basque Country,” Soudal-QuickStep sports director Wilfried Peeters explained to Roadcycling.com. “Then, as the race progresses, many big climbs will make their presence felt on this relentless route, making things tougher and more complicated. The fast men should have some stages for themselves, but also the puncheurs will get their fair number of chances, maybe more than in recent years. Overall, it’s a very demanding Tour de France.”
Defending Tour de France champion Vingegaard disappointingly did not take part in the Tour de France route presentation in Paris.
During the event it was announced that ASO has teamed up with Netflix to produce an 8-episode series Tour de France story that will take viewers behind the scenes of the Tour de France with content and experiences never seen before.
2023 Tour de France Stage List:
Bilbao > Bilbao
Vitoria-Gasteiz > Saint-Sébastien
Amorebieta-Etxano > Bayonne
Dax > Nogaro
Pau > Laruns
Tarbes > Cauterets-Cambasque
Mont-de-Marsan > Bordeaux
Libourne > Limoges
Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat > Puy de Dôme
Rest Day 1
Vulcania > Issoire
Clermont-Ferrand > Moulins
Roanne > Belleville-en-Beaujolais
Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne > Grand Colombier
Annemasse > Morzine Les Portes du Soleil
Les Gets les portes du soleil > Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc
Rest Day 2
Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc
Passy > Combloux
Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc > Courchevel
Moûtiers > Bourg-en-Bresse
Moirans-en-Montagne > Poligny
Belfort > Le Markstein Fellering
Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines > Paris Champs-Élysées