The 2022 Tour de France begins on Friday, July 1 in Copenhagen and concludes on Sunday, July 24 in Paris, where Slovenian superstar Tadej Pogacar is hoping to wear yellow for a third straight year and be crowned champion.
Standing in his way is the sheer strength and depth of Dutch team Jumbo-Visma, who carry multiple threats including Pogacar’s national teammate Primoz Roglic and last year’s Tour runner-up Jonas Vingegaard. The Ineos Grenadiers are without their frontrunner Egan Bernal, the 2019 champion who is still recovering from injury, but they have in-form Geraint Thomas fresh from Tour de Suisse victory, as well as potential stage winners Adam Yates and Tom Pidcock.
Here’s a step-by-step look at this year’s route.
Stage 1, Friday 1 July: ITT, Copenhagen, 13.2 km
The Tour normally starts on Saturday, but the transfer from this year’s three opening stages in Copenhagen to northern France means an early rest day and a Friday start to accommodate this. A flat time trial through the streets of Copenhagen opens the show with lots of complicated tight corners, but as it’s only over 13km there shouldn’t be huge time gaps between the leaders. Nevertheless, the pure climbers will take care to minimize losses here.
Stage 1 report: Yves Lampaert claims a surprise win in the opening Tour de France stage in wet Copenhagen
Stage 2, Saturday 2 July: Roskilde-Nyborg, 202.5 km
This long leg could prove crucial as the peloton pursues Denmark’s north coast, where crosswinds could split the pack and severely dampen the hopes of those on the wrong side. Three categorized climbs are in the middle of the stage before a spectacular finale over the Great Belt Bridge awaits.
Stage 2 report: Fabio Jakobsen claims his first stage win of the Tour de France after a chaotic end to day two
Stage 3, Sunday 3 July: Vejle-Sonderborg, 182 km
Stage three looks like a classic breakaway day before a bunch sprint between the serious fast men with the likes of Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal), Fabio Jakobsen (Quickstep), Dylan Groenewegen (BikeExchange-Jayco) and Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) sharpening their elbows as they fight for victory. It concludes the Danish excursion ahead of a transfer day to France.
Stage 3 report: Dylan Groenewegen wins the photo finish in Sonderborg while Wout van Aert keeps the yellow card
Stage 4, Tuesday 5 July: Dunkirk-Calais, 171.5 km
The first stage in France couldn’t get very close to Britain and fans could take the opportunity to speed across the English Channel. There are five Category 4 climbs scattered throughout the stage, but nothing sharp enough to deter the sprinters as long as they can keep up with an early breakaway. Strong winds could also be a factor.
Stage 4 report: Wout van Aert storms to victory with brilliant solo ride to Calais
Stage 5, Wednesday 6 July: Lille-Arenberg Porte du Hainault, 157 km
This is the Paris-Roubaix stage which is 19km of cobblestones over 11 dangerous sections towards the end of a hilly day which is likely to cause some injuries but could also offer a chance to attack for those brave enough to try. A one-day classics champion like Mathieu van der Poel could thrive in such conditions.
Report: Tadej Pogacar injures Jumbo Visma rivals as Simon Clarke wins on the cobbles
Stage 6, Thursday 7 July: Binche-Longwy, 220 km
A lumpy finish on this stage will knock all sprinters out of contention and offer victory to anyone brave enough to speed down the Category 3 descent from the Cote de Pulventeux that lurks just before the end of a long day. Maybe a day for a breakaway artist? Peter Sagan won at Longwy in 2017.
Stage 6 report: Tadej Pogacar takes over the yellow jersey from Wout van Aert
Stage 7, Friday 8 July: Tomblaine-La Planche des Belles Filles, 176.5 km
The first mountain finish is a modern day Tour de France classic: La Planche des Belle Filles, where Chris Froome won in 2012 and Tadej Pogacar took over the 2020 edition. The Plank gets steeper as you climb, ending on a 24% grade, and by the end of a busy day we’ll have a good idea of who, if anyone, can challenge Pogacar for the crown.
Stage 7 report:Tadej Pogacar turns the tide on rivals with a dramatic win at La Planche
Stage 8, Saturday 9 July: Dole-Lausanne, 186.5 km
Another day for hits like Van der Poel – and one that Julian Alaphilippe would have loved if he had been fit for this tour. The three categorized climbs, the sharp descent from the Col de Petra Felix, all leading to a climb: this day will be scheduled in the schedule by the teams chasing hilly stage wins.
Stage 8 report:Wout van Aert wins stage eight of the Tour as Tadej Pogacar extends the lead
Stage 9, Sunday 10 July: Aigle-Chatel, 193 km
The first real mountain stage leads into Switzerland, where a few category 1 climbs await. If a break is left, someone with strong climbing legs can do the job, but he also needs good technical ability on the fast descents – Ineos’ Adam Yates could be a contender.
Stage 9 report:Bob Jungels holds off Thibaut Pinot’s attack to claim first stage win of his career at the Tour de France
Stage 10, Tuesday 12 July: Morzine-Megève, 148.5 km
After the second rest day, the peloton returns to a familiar route from Morzine to Megeve via another jump into Switzerland, likely to be fought by a breakaway, with key GC contenders saving energy for the intimidating days ahead.
Level 10 report:Magnus Cort wins Stage 1 while Tadej Pogacar keeps yellow
Stage 11, Wednesday 13 July: Albertville-Col du Granon, 152 km
A stunning route for riders but a delicious day for fans as the second half of the stage features three tough climbs that could provide a platform in the clouds for a battle between the GC contenders. The Col du Telegraphe (11.9 km, 7.1%), the Col du Galibier (17.7 km, 6.9%) and the Col du Granon (11.3 km, 9.2%) become strong themselves Drain legs and if he feels fresh, Pogacar could choose that moment to hurt his rivals. The Galibier marks the highest point of the race at 2,642m, and the first man wins the souvenir Henri Desgrange.
Stage 12, Thursday 14 July: Briançon-Alpe d’Huez, 165.5 km
On Bastille Day, French fans are hoping one of their men can deliver at the legendary Alpe d’Huez. Thibaut Pinot and David Gaudu, both from Groupama-FDJ, are the likeliest French hopes, but any of the GC’s big contenders could move here on the memorable day.
Stage 13, Friday 15 July, Bourg d’Oisans-Saint Etienne, 193 km
A transition from the Alps to the Massif Hills that should open up opportunities for those with leg punch, as well as a sharp sprint end for a flat run into the line.
Phase 13 report: Mads Pedersen secures victory in Mende
Stage 14, Saturday July 16: Saint Étienne-Mende, 192.5 km
Another hilly day but some slightly more challenging climbs should see the stage win fall into the hands of a fast rider who isn’t a pure sprinter. A day that is unlikely to faze the main contenders for the overall standings.
Level 14 report: Michael Matthews wins at St Etienne
Stage 15, Sunday 17 July: Rodez-Carcassonne, 202.5 km
An intermediate stage that is perfectly prepared for the sprinters should they still be in the tour and reach the finish line in the race. But the various hilly sections might still be enough to keep the fast men at bay and offer victory to a breakaway.
Stage 15 Preview: Route map and profile from Rodez to Carcassonne today
Stage 16, Tuesday 19 July: Carcassonne-Foix, 178.5 km
The first stage of the Pyrenees isn’t too brutal and can’t generate much action at the top of the standings. Instead there will likely be a battle for stage win, which will suit a skilled climber like Romain Bardet or Primoz Roglic if their GC ambitions allow them to outrun the yellow jersey’s group up the road.
Stage 17, Wednesday July 20: Saint Gaudens-Peyragudes, 130 km
Four categorized climbs culminate at Peyragudes, where there could be a battle for crucial seconds in the yellow jersey at the finish. The likes of Pogacar, Roglic, Thomas and Vingegaard could all win a challenging stage like this and prove their authority in the standings.
Stage 18, Thursday 21 July: Lourdes-Hautacam, 143.2km
Not a long route, but three strenuous climbs included Hors category Col d’Aubisque and a summit finish. It looks set for another GC fight and the winner here will likely pick up the yellow jersey until Paris if he isn’t already wearing it.
Stage 19, Friday July 22: Castelnau-Magnoac-Cahors, 188.5 km
A penultimate day for the sprinters, well deserved for the fast men who made it through the Alps and Pyrenees. The main GC contenders will try to conserve energy and their bodies for the crucial time trial that follows.
Stage 20, Saturday 23 July: Lacapelle Marival-Rocamadour ITT, 40.7 km
It may all be a formality at this point, with a huge advantage for the overall leader already secure, but if the GC is tight enough it will boil down to this: 40.7km, a long individual time trial with a few test hills. The Stage 20 ITT has become a staple in recent years, sparking a dramatic finale in 2020 as Roglic suffered and Pogacar rode to victory. The organizers hope for more of this.
Stage 21, Sunday 24 July: Paris La Defense – Champs Elysees, 116 km
The procession to central Paris where the jersey winners are crowned and the sprinters given a final battle for the prestige of victory on the Champs-Elysees. Oh how Mark Cavendish would have loved to add to his win collection here.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cycling/tour-de-france-stage-route-map-profile-b2112833.html Tour de France 2022 stage guides, course maps and profiles