The route for the 2022 Tour de France was announced today in Paris, with the organisers announcing a challenging course that will take in the Paris-Roubaix cobbles, La Planche des Belles Filles and a return to L’Alpe d’Huez.
We spoke to Team BikeExchange’s Head Sport Director Matt White and General Manager Brent Copeland to get their thoughts on next year’s route.
Stressful First Week
The prestigious Grand Tour will start in Copenhagen, Denmark with a 13km time trial followed by three flat stages before the peloton reaches France for a hilly stage four. The rumours of a cobbled stage were confirmed at the presentation with stage five taking in 20km of pavé before the riders tackle the longest day of the race on day six.
White: “My first thoughts are that it’s going to be a very stressful first week, the devil will be in the details, obviously, but the stages in Denmark will be flat and exposed and windy. Then there’s a pretty crucial pavé stage on stage five, with 20km of cobbles.”
Copeland: “The first week is going to be really challenging with wind going through Denmark, Calais and Dunkirk before we get to the cobbles on stage five, it’s going to be a tough week.”
Short and Intense
The 109th edition of the race will see a return to the famous L’Alpe d’Huez along with stages in the Vosges, the Alps and the Pyrenees. The organisers have favoured shorter mountain stages in 2022, which should make for intense and aggressive action.
White: “The other thing that stood out to me was that besides the stage to L’Alpe d’Huez, a lot of the mountain stages are short and very flat in the first half, so there will be a very intense and compact second half to these stages. This will make it hard for the breakaway, and two and with an action-packed couple of hours on each stage.
A lengthy 40km time trial on the penultimate day will be crucial for the general classification, but the 2022 parcours offers up something for everyone with a well-balanced route across the 21 days of racing.
White: “All-in-all, it’s a well-rounded Tour. 53km is quite a lot of time trialling, I don’t remember the last time we had a 40km individual time trial, it’s been a few years, but as usual there’s always something for everyone in the route.”
Copeland: “You will have to have luck on your side and get through that first week, then the rest of the route looks really interesting, really balanced out, a lot of climbs, short stages, but a very long time trial. It’s going to be a fantastic Tour, like every year.”
Photo Courtesy of Getty Sport.