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The route of the 109th edition Tour de France was unveiled on Thursday in Paris. A total of 3328 kilometers between the Danish capital of Copenhagen and Paris awaits the riders from July 1st to 24th and includes favourites like Alpe d’Huez, the Galibier, and even some cobblestones.
The 2022 Tour de France route will include six flat stages, seven hilly stages, and six mountain stages. In total, the riders face 53 kilometers against the clock. The Tour de France also returns to the cobbles of northern France for the first time since 2018.
The race starts in Denmark as was announced last year. The opening stage is a time trial of 13 kilometers with a completely flat profile. The following two stages in Denmark create opportunities for the sprinters although the wind may play havoc on the wide, open stretches of road and the Great Belt bridge to Nyborg.
After a travel day the race continues on Wednesday 5 July with a stage from Dunkirk to Calais, in the far northwest of France. Stage five brings us to the cobbles for the first time since 2018, when John Degenkolb won the stage. Although there are far fewer cobbled sectors compared to three years ago, the total distance is still almost 20 kilometers. The five star sectors we know from Paris-Roubaix – Trouée d’Arenberg, Carrefour de l’Arbre and Mons-en-Pévèle are not included.
The race goes to Belgium for a stage start in Binche and finish in Longwy, in France. The total distance of the sixth stage is 220 kilometers, making it the longest of this edition. The final is a challenging one with the short but steep Côte de Pulventeux (800m/12,3%) at twelve kilometers from the line and an uphill, punchy finish on the Côte de Religieuses.
From stage 7 the candidates for the general classification will come to the front. The first uphill finish of the race is at the Super Planche des Belles Filles, the one that includes the 24% gravel bits.
On day eight the race moves to Lausanne, in Switzerland, which is the fourth country the Tour visits this year. A punchy, uphill finish with gradients up to 12% at the Olympic Stadium awaits the riders. The final stage before the rest day takes places almost completely in Switzerland but finishes in France after three challenging Alpine climbs in the final 85 kilometers.
After the first rest day, there is no easy stage to get back into it for the peloton. Three Alpine stages follow on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The tenth stage finishes at the Mégève Altiport but stage 11 promises even more altitude metres with the Col du Télégraphe, Col du Galibier and the finish Col du Granon. It’s only 149 kilometers long but promises to be vital for the battle for the yellow jersey.
The twelfth stage brings us back to a fan favorite: the Alpe d’Huez. Before this the riders take on the Col du Galibier from the Lautaret side and also face de Col de la Croix de Fer in this 166-kilometre-long stage.
The 13th stage from Bourg d’Oisans to Saint-Etienne, next to Lyon, is a day for the sprinters if they still have something left after that Alpine triple. On day 14 we go to another regular in the Tour de France, the Montée Laurent Jalabert at the airport of Mende before we move to Carcassonne again for the second year in a row.
After the second rest day, it’s time for the Pyrenees with a 179-kilometre long stage from Carcassonne to Foix. On the route, we find the Port de Lers and the Mur de Péguere where the final three kilometers never drop below 10%.
The Tour stays in the Pyrenees for another spectacular mountain stage to the ski station of Peyragudes. When Romain Bardet won the stage back in 2017 it was over 214 kilometers long and one of the most placid mountain stages in recent history so the organizers shortened the 2022 version to only 130 kilometers. Apart from the finish climb to Peyragudes the riders also face the Col d’Aspin, Hourquette d’Anzican and Col de Val Louron-Azet.
On stage 18, the last Thursday of the race, another list of iconic Pyrenean climbs need to be done: the Col d’Aubisque, the new Col de Spandelles, and the return to Hautacam near the pilgrim’s town of Lourdes. Stage 19 offers a chance for the sprinters again in Cahors.
The final weekend offers a long time trial again. The battle for yellow will fall into its definitive fold after 40 kilometres from Lacapelle to cheese city Rocamadour. In the final two kilometers, the short but steep Côte de l’Hospitalet is included (1,5km/7,8%). On Sunday, July 24 the peloton enters Paris for the traditional parade / sprint stage to conclude this edition of the Tour de France.