Tour’22 First Look: The route of the 2022 Tour de France was presented live on Thursday from the Palais des Congrès in Paris. The Tour Grand Départ is on Friday the 1st of July in the Danish capital of Copenhagen. The finish, staying with tradition since 1975, is on the Champs Elysées in Paris on Sunday the 24th of July.
The Tour Grand Départ in Copenhagen
It has been well known for some time that the 109th edition of the Tour de France would start in the Danish capital of Copenhagen, where the peloton will be based for three days. It is the first time that Le Grand Départ takes place in Denmark. The Tour circus then moves to the north of France and briefly visits Belgium, two years after Brussels was the host city for the Tour start.
The Tour in Brussels 2019
Stage 4 from Dunkirk to Calais, visits the Heuvelland, an area we know from Gent-Wevelgem. Stage 6 starts in Binche, home of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert. But the most stunning stage in the first week is from Lille to Wallers-Arenberg, with eleven cobblestone sections, 20 kilometres of pavé. Five of those eleven passages have never been included in a race before, not even in Paris-Roubaix.
Via the Vosges, where a finish in La Planche des Belles Filles is again on the menu at the end of the first week, the race goes towards the Alps, with a Swiss detour. The eighth stage ends in Lausanne, the finalé is hilly with gradients of up to 12%, according to Tour boss Prudhomme. The ninth stage start is in Aigle, where the headquarters of the UCI is located and from there the peloton goes straight into the Alps.
After the rest day in Morzine, three short but difficult Alpine stages are lined up. Stage ten finishes o the summit in Megève, while the eleventh stage looks to be the Queen stage, with the Col du Télégraphe, the Col du Galibier (here’s what the Pez said the day he road it) and the uphill finish on the Col du Granon. A day later – on the French holiday – the Tour goes from Briançon to Alpe d’Huez (Ed’s had some first-hand experience here), with the Galibier before the big finish. This is the highest peak of the 2022 Tour de France and will be the Souvenir Henri Desgrange.
The chaos of Dutch corner returns
The next two-days are for the escapers. With the transition stage to Saint-Etienne on Friday and the stage to Mende airbase on Saturday, with a day for the sprinters on Sunday, finishing in Carcassonne. The peloton will take their last rest day in this medieval city on Monday and recharge the batteries. Just like in the Alps, a very short mountain stages await in the Pyrenees, where there will be casualties.
Two more uphill finishes in the Pyrenees are scheduled in the final week. The first on the very steep climb of Peyragudes, the second at the top of Hautacam. The GC riders can prepare for a final battle on the penultimate day of this Tour de France. A time trial of 40 kilometres between Lacapelle-Marival and Rocamadour. In the finalé of the time trial there are two short climbs. Then there is only the ceremonial finish on the Champs-Elysées and the big fight for the final sprint honours.
The 2022 Tour de France route in 3D
Tour 2022 details:
* 3,328 kilometres
* 29 cols of 2nd, 1st or HC
* 6 mountain stages
* 5 summit finishes
The team presentation will be in Copenhagen and the Tour will start on Friday, one day earlier than usual:
What the riders and managers think:
Double Tour de France winner, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) answered questions from journalists after the route presentation: “I don’t know if the course suits me, but I think it’s a nice route. It is quite a diverse course, but you can also lose the race very quickly. In the cobblestone stage you need a good team and some luck. I like this route.” And the competition for next year? “The couple Jonas Vingegaard-Primož Roglič? They are very strong. We have already seen that this year, but then only Vingegaard participated for the classification. That was already a tough one, you have to check when there are two of them later. I also hope that Egan Bernal will be at the start of the Tour next year, and that we can then put on a show together.”
World Champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) – the first Frenchman in more than three decades to win stages at four consecutive Tour de France edition – expects a hard race next year: “I can’t wait to discover the parcours and am already excited for the recon of some of the stages, as there are a couple of opportunities for the puncheurs. What I can already tell you is that the echelons and cobblestones will make for a nice and spectacular first week. I have a special relationship with the Tour de France and I’m happy to be back at the start with the rainbow jersey on my shoulders. I want to honour it again, give my best and get to enjoy another beautiful Tour de France with the team.”
Denmark’s Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I’m super excited to be starting from Denmark. I knew the route there a bit and I’m looking forward to the ITT on stage 1. Stage 3 will pass just 100 meters from my front door and this alone makes me happy. Once we move to France, we’ll have some hard stages, with hills and the cobbles of Roubaix. Overall, it’s a tough course, but I can’t wait for it.”
Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R Citroën): “It’s a Tour de France that inspires me and it’s always a special emotion to discover the course. As always, we find stages where there will be opportunities to find success. The start looks very stressful with the wind and then the cobbles. There will be a lot of uncertainty for each of the stages.”
2021 points competition winner, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It’s going to be a very hard Tour de France. Of course, starting from Copenhagen, where I became World Champion, brings back a lot of great memories, but those first days after the time trial could be really hectic. There aren’t as many chances for the fast men as in the past, so you’ll need to try to make the most out of every opportunity.”
Jumbo-Visma team boss, Richard Plugge spoke of a ‘nice varied route’ after the presentation. “Flat stages, echelon stages, cobblestones, many uphill finishes… A little bit of everything. A shorter team time trial could help us. A team time trial is also a specialty within cycling. It would have been nice, but it’s just not the case and now we’re going to make plans with this route. Pogačar is very good, but certainly not the only rider. There are also other teams capable of winning this Tour. Nor should we underestimate INEOS Grenadiers. It has to come from the strength of the team. No one can do it alone. We can do it with a very strong team compared to the other teams. We have to look at that.”
Patrick Lefevere, team manager of Deceuninck – Quick-Step, spoke to Het Nieuwsblad about stage 5 from Lille to Arenberg, with eleven cobblestone sections, but he is not really in favour of a Paris-Roubaix-like stage in the Tour. “The cobblestones? That could be good for us, but they don’t really belong in a Grand Tour. A section or two, three… But eleven? There are many. You can lose the Tour there. Don’t win, but lose. Also the gravel. Stick to road cycling. I can understand that they are looking for thrills, but still. That first week is stressful, riding in the wind. There you can already eliminate some favourites, or still hurt them. Do I see many sprint stages? Not so much huh. Six? And if they race like in previous years, two of them will also be lost.”
Vincent Lavenu AG2R Citroën manager: “Learning what the route of the Tour de France is always a rather unique moment. The first part promises to be tricky starting in Denmark with the wind, the flatness and then moving onto the cobblestones. We will have to be attentive and use the whole team to support our leaders. The Tour will then be very demanding with a lot of mountains. It suits the qualities of the team. One of the highlights of these three weeks will be the Col du Granon. I have fond memories of the Tour passing on this one, I was on the side of the road with my children. It’s a very difficult climb.”
Christoph Roodhooft, manager of the Alpecin-Fenix team: “Just like this year’s Tour, I think we will have a very nice first week with, among other things, a passage through Belgium. The passage in Denmark with possible echelons also offers opportunities for us. Starting in Binche is nice and a cobbles stage is also a nice feature for us. We are not working on a general classification, but we do see opportunities in the first week, just like the last Tour. We will try to do our thing. The battle for yellow will be different because of the time trial in Denmark, but I think the stages that follow will still be attractive enough to possibly make a counter move.” It is certain that Van der Poel will also participate in the 2022 Tour, this time with the intention of going all the way to Paris.
Matt White, BikeExchange DS: “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. 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 a breakaway, and with an action-packed couple of hours on each stage. All-in-all, it’s a well-rounded Tour.”
Aike Visbeek, Performance Manager at (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I’m positively surprised by this extraordinary parcours, which offers an abundance of opportunities to the riders of our team, our sprint train and stage chasers in particular. It is a big challenge for the GC riders to prepare this Tour and to be ready from day one for the time trial, crosswinds, technical parcours, cobbles and other difficulties.The nervousness will cost the riders and teams a lot of energy, which could cause twists and turns in the final week. A thorough analysis of the parcours will enable us to establish a strategy for our ambitions for the general classification. These three weeks will be very intense and to be able to grab the opportunities which are offered to us, w already started the preparation!”
2022 Tour de France route map