The 2023 Tour de France will start in the Basque Country in northern Spain before featuring 4 mountain summit finishes, 30 categorised climbs (a record) and just the one time trial of 22 kilometres. The route was revealed today, 27th October 2022, in a presentation in Paris. The 110th edition of the Tour de France will cover 3,404 kilometres, with 8 key mountain stages and a high number of flat stages for sprinters. The recent trend has been for fewer flat sprint stages so this is a return to its previous roots.
Bilbao is home to the notorious Guggenheim museum and it’s likely that defending champion Jonas Vingegaard, two-time champion Tadej Pogacar and previous runner-up Primoz Roglic will line up at the Grand Depart in the Basque city. The opening stage is hilly, with the following 2 stages also in the Basque Country, including a finish in the bay at San Sebastian. The first sprint stage sees the riders enter France for the first time to Bayonne with another opportunity the following day from Dax to Nogaro.
An early mountains test comes in the Pyrenees on Stage 5, with the Col de Soudet. The following day will create major GC time gaps with the Col d’Aspin leading into the Col du Tourmalet before heading to Cauterets-Cambasque. The return of Puy-de-Dome had been rumoured with that climb the scene of epic battles between Jacques Anquetil and Raymond Poulidor in the past. It last hosted a stage 35 years ago with the road proving problematic for the scale of the modern Tour. This situation was made worse by the narrowing of the road to put a mountain railway alongside. The first rest day follows the legendary climb.
A transition stage through the Beaujolais region, famous for its wine, there is the major climb of Grand Colombier to tackle. It was here that Egan Bernal cracked during the 2020 Tour de France eventually won by Tadej Pogacar. The other climbs in the Alps are the Joux Plan, Croix Fry and a summit finish at Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc before the final rest day.
The single time trial comes the day after. Notable for being the Tour with the fewest time trial kilometres in a long time. It sets up the queen stage the day afterwards which includes the tough Col de la Loze before a descent into Courchevel. The difficulty eases off, with 2 more sprint stages before a hilly day finishing on Le Markstein, the scene of Stage 7 of the 2022 Tour de France Femmes. The race then moves to Paris for the traditional finale on the Champs Elysees.