This week the Cyclingnews team are in Paris for the presentation of the 2018 Tour de France race route. Joined by Jeremy Whittle from The Times, the Cyclingnews team of Daniel Benson and Sadhbh O’Shea analyse the mouth-watering route from race organisers ASO, and dissect the key points of the parcours.
We hear from four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, who will be aiming to join an elite club of five-time winners; Simon Yates (Orica Scott) who outlines his team’s goals and hints that he will return in 2018 to challenge for the podium, and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) who will lead the French contingent on home soil.
The 2018 Tour de France runs from July 7-29, and kicks off in the Vendee region for the first time since 2011. From there the race takes on several key stages with a team time trial, cross-winds along the coast, cobbles from Paris-Roubaix and tricky uphill finishes all within the opening nine stages. After the first rest day the race hits the Alps for a trio of brutal stages that include a finish on Alpe d’Huez. There’s no let up in the Pyrenees with finishes at Bagnères-de-Luchon, atop the dreaded Col de Portet, and then a stage that covers the Aspin, Tourmalet and Aubisque, before an individual time trial to Espelette on stage 20.
It’s tough and I wouldn’t expect anything else from the Tour de France organisers, especially the first eight or nine days,” Froome told Cyclingnews in the podcast.
“It’s going to be very dangerous in the north-west of France, before we hit any of the big mountains. The wind could be a massive factor up there and with the GC being so close, we could see the race torn to pieces up there. There’s the inclusion of quite a substantial cobble stage and we could see a lot happening. Then there’s the stage with a gravel section and there’s a lot to get ready for in that sense."