If Mont Ventoux was the Queen Stage, today is also mountain monarchy. Over 4,500m of vertical gain with a surprisingly tough start, lots of strength-sapping climbs and then the tricky Collada de Beixalis in the finish.
A mountain stage, a scenic stage and above all the breakaway stage. A lot of riders will have had today in their diaries as their chance of a stage win.
There’s something comforting about the the Tour de France. Every year the same rituals and routines, whether pre-race previews, the familiar stage towns, the peloton riding past sunflowers… and Mark Cavendish winning stages.
A sprint stage on paper but beware the crosswinds today and there are some very awkward roads with little room to spare.
A likely sprint stage but a tough course with plenty of small climbs including one 16km from the finish. Watch out for the gusting wind.
The Mont Ventoux stage with two ascents of the giant mountain. Today’s stage will attract a lot of hype and myth but there’s no escaping the difficulty of the route.
A sprint stage as the race leaves the Alps. The latter part of the race has some exposed roads and it can be windy but the latest forecast says it’ll be calm.
The second day in the Alps and a more mountainous stage than yesterday, an extra one thousand metres of vertical gain, all in 145km.
The Tour goes into the Alps with a tough trilogy of climbs in the final 50km.
The longest stage of the Tour and a hard final hour in the Morvan’s mini-mountains before the finish in the industrial town of Le Creusot.