Categories: Sports

An Insider Guide to 2020 Tour de France

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The 107th edition of the Tour de France has been announced and will be organized under the name of the 2020 Tour de France.  The start of one of the three grand tours of cycling will be in Nice and this is known as the Grand Depart.  The city is going to host the Grand Depart for the second time, the first time it hosted the Grand Depart in 1981 Tour de France.  The city has hosted the Tour de France event for total of 35 times and this is going to be the 36th time.  Last time in 2013, Tour de France visited Nice.

22 teams were announced on January 7, 2020, to take part in the 2020 Tour de France.  All 19 UCI World Teams are eligible, entitled and obliged to participate in the upcoming event.  Also, three second-tier UCI Professional Continental Teams is called by Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) which is also the organizers of the 2020 tour to participate in the race.  The thing that catches your thoughts about 2020 Tour de France is its visible aversion to the north part of the city.  The race ventures into the top half of the nation or we can say the southern part only in the final two days of the race the event will cover the northern part in the 107th edition of the event.

Due to the Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo, the Tour de France is starting early on 27th June 2020.  The tour will feature nine mountain stages – a host of new climbs, five or possibly six summit finishes, eight possible sprints, three possible breakaway days and just one time trial on the second last day of the race.  The stage will be the longest in the event’s history.  The route will cover all five mountain ranges in France which will be a point of benefit for the home-grown stars Julian Alaphilippe and Thibaut Pinot since they are well aware of the routes. The path suits aggressive riding lovers.           

Start of 2020 Tour de France: June 27, 2020

The racing route for the upcoming 2020 Tour de France was unveiled recently.  A closer look at the Tour route says that it won’t be simple for the riders.  There are several Tour de France rumors about 2020, the actual Tour de France route map is quite interesting and thrilling as well.  The event will start at the Nice and the route boasts about multiple stages in the tour.  3 hilly stages,  9 flat stages,  8 mountain stages that will finish at mountain top (in order wise- Orcières-Merlette, Puy Mary, Grand Colombier, and Méribel Col de la Loze),  just 1 individual time-trial stage,  and also 2 rest days will be given to the riders.

Grand Départ: Nice

The Nice previously hosted the Grand Depart during 1981 Tour de France.  It has again opened its arms for the very special Grand Depart this year for the toughest cycling race on the earth.  The race will begin with two challenging stages in the Maritime Alps followed by the first summit finish of the tour only after two days.  Though it is a bit early to schedule the June days now, here we are going to have look at five “not to miss” stages of the race:

Stage 6: Le Teil – Mont Aigoual (191km)

Stage 6 is a not to miss day because of two reasons, the beauty of the region that comprises steep climbs, deep gorges, and lush green forests.  The beauty of the place will surely mesmerize the spectators.  Another reason is the tough finish of stage 6 at Mont Aigoual that will give the visuals of a fiction racing under the name of “Tour de Mont Aigoual”.

Stage 13: Châtel-Guyon – Puy Mary (191km)

The race will go through the hilly region of Massif Central.  It is the heart of southern France.  The region is known for steep climbs of the mountains, hot weather, and windswept plateaus.  The stage is placed at the 13th number in the race and is 191 kilometers.  The riders will get challenges in the form of categorized and uncategorized climbs during the race and the final summit will be at the top of Puy Mary.  Puy Mary is a dead volcano that attracts thousands of spectators every year.  Another interesting fact about this stage is it features the highest elevation gain in the 2020 Tour de France.  The tricky roads make this stage quite difficult for any team to control.

Stage 15: Lyon – Grand Colombier (175km)

The stage 15 will lead the Jura Mountain which is the fourth mountain of all five mountains of France being visited by the Tour.  The stage includes the exceptional ride to the top of the Grand Colombier along with a steep climb comprising of four challenging different roads leading to the final summit of the stage.  Each year locals also organize a ride of the mountain that loops all four ascents of the mountain.  Though the 2020 Tour does not plan to complete the four ascents but three approaches are part of the schedule.  Undoubtedly, the stage is one of the toughest of the entire 2020 Tour.  The ride will test the strength of the riders and will surely give goosebumps. 

Stage 17: Grenoble – Méribel, Col de la Loze (168km)

Stage 17 will lead to the new Col de la Loze with the summit finish.  The tour visited the area back in 1973, the race has not returned to the place since then.  The organizers have got a good reason for the place to be chosen and that is the construction of a new cyclists’ only roadway starting from the Méribel ski resort and ends at the summit of the nearby Col de la Loze.  The new road adds 7 more kilometers to the climb and most of which is steeper.  Also, the Col de la Madeleine will appear just before it makes it fiercer.  We will have to wait for the race to see the impact of the new road on the 2020 Tour.

Stage 20: Lure – La Planche des Belles Filles (36km) ITT

Stage 20 will comprise of the climb of la Planche des Belles Filles.  Since its inception in the race in 2012, the track has always played a major role in the Tour de France.  The location of the climb is the Vosges Mountains of northeastern France.  In earlier events, the climb was included as for the initial phase of the race but in the 2020 Tour de France the climb is included at the end of stage 20.  This will make it 2020 Tour’s final summit finish.

Another important point that must be discussed here is the climb appears at the end of 36 Kilometers individual TT (Time Trial).  It will be the only time trial during 2020 Tour and will surely deliver an exciting conclusion of the race.

Bonus seconds

Bonus seconds will be given at the end of each normal stage as 10, 6 and 4 respectively to the first three finishers. The first rest day will be given after nine days of racing just before the Tour resumes to stage 10, which will take place on the Atlantic coast.  The Tour will finish at the 21st stage (last stage) on the cobbles of the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

2020 Tour de France Predictions

Perhaps bound by the Julian Alaphilippe’s panache-tastic 2019 performance, the organizers of the race ASO have introduced a tough route that favours the aggressive cyclists.  The race kicks off at a mountain opening includes more climbing such an early point is ever seen in the Tour.  The route is more faourable to those who are aggressive in riding but still able to hold their own in the crosswind.  Since the Tour is mostly planned in the southern part of France, the people of the northern part will surely feel a trifle aggrieved.

Keeping in view the harness of the route, even the best riders have to good at time trial as the 2020 Tour de France result will be decided by the individual time trial.  The crosswinds will put hurdles in the way of the riders to keep the major gaps into each other.  At the end of the day, if the cyclists cannot broaden and diversify their skills, they cannot expect a win at the Tour de France.  Despite all boasting about time-trial friendly and climber friendly tracks, it is quite clear by the recent history that a rider cannot win the Tour de France only by being the top time trialist or the top climber.  The rider must be the best in both the disciplines. 

The riders at their fittest and lightest with world-class time trial holders such as Tom Dumoulin, Chris Froome, Primoz Roglic, and Geraint Thomas can ride on such tracks and high tempo.  On the other side, Egan Bernal and Vincenzo Nibali are climbers who had done their time trailing limit losses of the time.  It will be quite brilliant to witness the upcoming 2020 Tour de France on 27 June 2020.  Fasten your belt and get ready for the thrilling ride in the mid-summer and for more info, visit the official website

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