The route of the 2020 Tour de France has been unveiled in Paris today – and it’s a race that will favour attacking riders with a parcours that departs from the usual formula of several days in both the Alps and Pyrenees. It also has a potentially decisive time trial finishing on the Planche des Belles Filles, passing through Thibaut Pinot’s home village on the way.
Defending champion Egan Bernal and his Team Ineos colleague and four-time champion Chris Froome were among those at today’s presentation at the Palais des Congres in Paris, along with Julian Alaphilippe, who lit up this year’s race, and France’s two main hopes for that long-awaited overall victory, Pinot and Romain Bardet.
Six summit finishes are included among the 29 categorised climbs that feature in the 107th edition of the race, with Stage 20 being the only stage that pits the riders against the clock, and contrary to rumours neither Alpe d’Huez nor Mont Ventoux feature.
The Grand Depart in Nice will see back-to-back stages both starting and finishing in the Riviera city, the first likely to end in a bunch sprint, the second of those via a couple of tough climbs in the coastal Alps. Stage 3 also starts there, and finishes in Sisteron on another day for the sprinters.
Stage 4 features the first summit finish, at Orcières-Merlette, and there is another on Stage 6 at Mont Aigoual. They may not be the most testing climbs in next year’s race, but it’s clear that the first week of the race is going to be a nervous one for the overall contenders.
There are just two stages in the Pyrenees, neither with an uphill finish, on Stages 8 and 9 ahead of the first rest day, which is followed by two sprinter-friendly stages – the first of which, from the Ile d’Oleron to the Ile de Re on the Atlantic Coast could see the wind play a role.
Stage 13 sees a summit finish on the Puy Mary in the Massif Central, and there’s another two days later on the Grand Colombier in the Jura mountains before the second rest day.
Racing resumes with a trio of mountain stages as the Tour returns to the Alps, the middle of which is the Queen Stage coming on Stage 17 which ends on a new road built specifically for cyclists on the Col de la Loze, which tops out at 2,304 metres.
Following the final mountain stage, there’s a transitional stage for the sprinters on Stage 19, and one curiosity of this year’s route is that with just two stages to come, so far it has been played out exclusively in the southern half of the country.
That changes on Stage 20 with that individual time trial on Pinot’s home roads, ahead of the closing procession into Paris, which next year starts in Monts-la-Jolie, around 50 kilometres to the west of the French capital.
Tour de France 2020 parcours
Stage 1 – Sat 27 June
Nice to Nice 170 km (Hilly)
Stage 2 – Sun 28 June
Nice to Nice 190 km (Medium mountain)
Stage 3 – Mon 29 June
Nice to Sisteron 198 km (Flat)
Stage 4 – Tue 30 June
Sisteron to Orcières-Merlette 157 km (Hilly)
Stage 5 – Wed 1 July
Gap to Privas 183 km (Flat)
Stage 6 – Thu 2 July
Le Teil to Mont Aigoual 191 km (Hilly)
Stage 7 – Fri 3 July
Millau to Lavaur 168 km (Flat)
Stage 8 – Sat 4 July
Cazères to Loudenvielle 140 km (Mountain)
Stage 9 – Sun 5 July
Pau to Laruns 154 km (Mountain)
Rest Day 1 – Mon 6 July, Charente-Maritime
Stage 10 – Tue 7 July
Île d'Oléron to Île de Ré 170 km (Flat)
Stage 11 – Wed 8 July
Châtelaillon-Plage to Poitiers 167 km (Flat)
Stage 12 – Thu 9 July
Chauvigny to Sarran 218 km (Hilly)
Stage 13 – Fri 10 July
Châtel-Guyon to Puy Mary 191 km (Medium Mountain)
Stage 14 – Sat 11 July
Clermont-Ferrand to Lyon 197 km (Flat)
Stage 15 – Sun 12 July
Lyon to Grand Colombier 175 km (Mountain)
Rest Day 2 – Mon 13 July, Isère
Stage 16 – Tue 14 July
La Tour-du-Pin to Villard-de-Lans 164 km (Mountain)
Stage 17 – Wed 15 July
Grenoble to Méribel (Col de la Loze) 168 km (Mountain)
Stage 18 – Thu 16 July
Méribel to La Roche-sur-Foron 168 km (Mountain)
Stage 19 – Fri 17 July
Bourg-en-Bresse to Champagnole 160 km (Flat)
Stage 20 – Sat 18 July
Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles 36 km (Mountain time trial)
Stage 21 – Sun 19 July
Mantes-la-Jolie to Paris (Champs-Élysées) 122 km (Flat)
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.