Tour de France 2018 stages and route (the 105th edition of the race) has been announced by the race organizer ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation). The race will start with a 189 km flat stage on July 7, 2018, Saturday. The finish line will be in Champs-Élysées, traditionally, on July 29, 2018, Sunday. This year, the Tour will again visit the cobblestones of the Paris-Roubaix, and the mythical climb of Alpe d’Huez as well as gravel roads and some cols that never climbed in the race before.
Tour de France 2018 Stages
Here is the list of the Tour de France 2018 stages and routes. Comments from Christian Prudhomme, the general director of the Tour de France.
Stage 1. Saturday, July 7 – Noirmoutier-en-l’île / Fontenay-le-Comte
Length: 189 km
The first day will be a 189 km a flat stage from Noirmoutier-en-l’île, a commune located in the northern part of the island of Noirmoutier in western France, to Fontenay-le-Comte, a commune in the Vendée department.
“The start of the 105th edition will be given at Noirmoutier-en-l’île. On the sea shores of Vendée, riders will need to be extra careful if the wind is blowing as they go through Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie or les Sables-d’Olonne. It’ll also be the case when the peloton enters the Poitevin marshlands.”
Stage 2. Sunday, July 8 – Mouilleron-Saint-Germain / La Roche-sur-Yon
Length: 181 km
Another flat stage with a length of 181 km. It is between two communes in the department of Vendée, Mouilleron-Saint-Germain and La Roche-sur-Yon.
“This second day in Vendée will first of all be a meeting with history of France in Mouilleron-Saint-Germain. And like on the previous day, the winner’s flowers seem promised to a sprinter in La Roche-sur-Yon. But one never knows.”
Stage 3. Monday, July 9 – Cholet
Type: Team Time Trial (TTT)
Length: 35 km
If winds and crashes didn’t take their toll on the general classification, this will be the first day that the first time gaps between the GC contenders occur.
“Those in love with the aesthetic side of sports will be delighted to witness the return of a team timetrial on the Tour that requires athletic prowess. The meeting in Cholet will certainly be the first major showdown in the quest for the title. The course, with a climb in the final part, will force the riders to change pace several times and will reward the teams that are the best prepared technically.”
Stage 4. Tuesday, July 10 – La Baule / Sarzeau
Length: 192 km
“The profile of the first stage in Brittany of the 2018 Tour will inspire the sprinters and require hard work from their team mates, while the breakaway riders will count on destiny. After a probable explanation by the sea between the ‘muscle-men’ of the pack, the hierarchy between the sprint kings should start being established.”
Stage 5. Wednesday, July 11 – Lorient / Quimper
Length: 203 km
“The stages in Brittany can also have a taste of Belgian classics. After going through Concarneau, the narrowness of the roads and the many hills to climb will favour those used to the Ardennes. A key climb of the Boucles de l’Aulne race, the Menez Quelerc’h hill could force a first decisive selection that will carry on lasting for another 45 kilometres.”
Stage 6. Thursday, July 12 – Brest / Mûr de Bretagne Guerlédan
Length: 181 km
“The Mûr de Bretagne hill always offers precious information on the state of form of the title contenders. This time, a possible showdown between the big guns could be accompanied by a real time sanction. The hill will indeed have to be climbed twice in the last 16 kilometers!”
Stage 7. Friday, July 13 – Fougères / Chartres
Length: 231 km
The longest stage of this years’ Tour.
“Unless a surprise occurs, a sprinter should claim the win in Chartres like Stuart O’Grady in 2004 even if on that day a breakaway group had managed to stay clear of the peloton. It was also on that occasion that Thomas Voeckler’s fairy tale started. Riders should however be extra cautious if the wind blows hard on the final 40 kilometres of the stage.”
Stage 8. Saturday, July 14 – Dreux / Amiens Métropole
Length: 181 km
“Once again, wind could be blowing hard on the final part of the stage and could be an element to take into account. Among other qualities, the sprinters will also need to navigate in the gusts in order to be part of the final explanation.”
Stage 9. Sunday, July 15 – Arras Citadelle / Roubaix
Type: Flat with cobbles
Length: 154 km
Stage 9 features the cobbled sectors of the Paris-Roubaix. This time, the peloton will race 21.7 kilometers over the cobbled sectors (2014 and 2015 editions had 13 km each).
“Such a distance of 21.7 kilometres of cobbled paths hasn’t been reached for quite some time on the Tour de France. It’ll be the case this year. Fifteen sectors will be scattered all along the stage including one in the final part, the Camphin-en-Pévèle (1,8 km) sector.”
Rest day 1. Monday, July 16 – Annecy
The first rest day will be in the beautiful city of Annecy. With its location between lake and mountains, Annecy is nicknamed the “Pearl of French Alps” in the French geographer Raoul Blanchard’s (4 September 1877 – 24 March 1965) monograph. It is also called the “Venice of the Alps”.
Stage 10. Tuesday, July 17 – Annecy / Le Grand-Bornand
Length: 159 km
After the rest day in the Venice of the Alps, the Tour heads for the mountains. Stage 10 is for the grimpeurs, a 159 km going from Annecy to Le Grand-Bornand via the Plateau de Glières and its 1.8 km gravel road.
“After the demanding cobbled stage and a rest day, the way the climbers will take on this tricky transition could be rather instructive. The climb up the Col de la Croix Fry will come just before a technical test heading up to the Plateau des Glières using a 2-km carriage way… without tarmac! The riders will then have to take on a frightening double with the climbs.”
Stage 11. Wednesday, July 18 – Albertville / La Rosière Espace San Bernardo
Type: Mountains with Summit Finish
Length: 108 km
The first mountaintop finish of this years’ Tour.
“Alternating between long mountains stages and shorter formats offers the equivalent of middle distance races to the climbers. The intensity should be high as the riders discover the climb up to the Col du Pré before reaching the Cormet de Roselend… and then taking on the 18-kilometre climb that takes them to the resort of La Rosière.”
Stage 12. Thursday, July 19 – Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arcs / Alpe d’Huez
Type: Mountains with Summit Finish
Length: 175 km
Another mountaintop finish at the mythical Alpe d’Huez.
“A classic in the making that will come and complete the Alpine chapter of the 2018 edition. The 21 bends that lead to l’Alpe d’Huez will establish a provisional verdict. The final explanation will be preceded by an increasingly demanding upswing: Col de la Madeleine, Lacets de Montvernier and Col de la Croix de Fer.”
Stage 13. Friday, July 20 – Bourg d’Oisans / Valence
Length: 169 km
“After three days in the Alps, the Tour will leave the mountains to head to flatter terrain. The favorites should enjoy a well deserved break. They will leave the control of the race to the sprinters for whom it’ll be the only possibility to shine during this second week of racing.”
Stage 14. Saturday, July 21 – Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux / Mende
Length: 187 km
“The foothills of the Massif central are never kindly. The passage through the Ardèche gorges, already demanding, will be followed by an even tougher exploration of the Causses and Cevennes areas. In other words, only the strongest will be able to battle it out for victory on the heights of Mende. The most offensif of contenders should have the last word.”
Stage 15. Sunday, July 22 – Millau / Carcassonne
Length: 181 km
“With a dominant view over the Montagne Noire, the Pic de Nore which will appear for the first time on the map of the Tour, offers a spectacular panorama over the “départements” of Aude and Tarn. It’ll be the highest place (1,205m) of a stage again made for breakaway riders or for green jersey candidates who can play their part in the mountains.”
Rest day 2. Monday, July 23 – Carcassonne
The second rest day will be in Carcassonne, a fortified French town in the Aude department, of which it is the prefecture, in the Region of Occitanie. Carcassonne became strategically identified when Romans fortified the hilltop around 100 BC. The city walls have 52 massive towers which were added in the 13th century.
Today, the walls of the city are 1.9 miles (3 km) long. The citadel was restored at the end of the 19th century and in 1997 it was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
Carcassonne competes with Mont-Saint-Michel for the title of the most visited monument in France. Besides Tourism, manufacturing and wine-making are some of its other key economic sectors.
Stage 16. Tuesday, July 24 – Carcassonne / Bagnères-de-Luchon
Length: 218 km
The Tour reaches into the Pyrenees with a brief incursion into Spain.
“Following a rest day, this long stage should inspire good climbers who might have lost all hopes in the general classification. Positioned at the end of the stage, the Col du Portillon could prove to be decisive both on its climb as well as on its descent towards Bagnères-de-Luchon.”
Stage 17. Wednesday, July 25 – Bagnères-de-Luchon / Saint-Lary-Soulan
Type: Mountains with Summit Finish
Length: 65 km
Stage 17 is very interesting. It is just 65 km. Yes, short-but-tough started to show up frequently in the grand tours in the recent years, but keeping it just 65 km is something extraordinary. There is and hardly a meter of flat road: the peloton will climb 3,100 meters in just 65 kilometers. Col de Portet (not to be confused with the Portet d’Aspet of stage 16), is included in the Tour for the first time. At 2,215 meters, it will be the highest ever summit finish in the Pyrenees in history, and the highest point of this years’ edition. It is steep and long, consistently over 10%. The climb is also due to be paved in time for the race, and when it happens, it will be the highest paved mountain pass in the French Pyrenees (it is currently Col du Tourmalet).
“65 kms: a distance that will certainly surprise. It will indeed be the shortest normal stage of the last thirty years. Its format will be dynamic for what should prove to be a ‘dynamite stage’. The finish will be brand new. With a climb of 16 kilometers at an average gradient of over 8% and an altitude of 2,215 m, the Col de Portet has all the assets to become a new.”
Stage 18. Thursday, July 26 – Trie-sur-Baïse / Pau
Length: 172 km
“It’ll be a stage that offers an interlude in the Pyrenees sequence of the 2018 Tour. It’ll be an opportunity for sprinters to get back into action. At least for those who will still be up for it after two demanding stages in the mountains.”
Stage 19. Friday, July 27 – Lourdes / Laruns
Length: 200 km
It will be the final day in the mountains. 200 km-long stage features the epic Col du Tourmalet mid-stage with the Soulour-Aubisque combo in the finale, but this time that combo will be climbed via the Col des Bordères back route, which hasn’t featured in the Tour since the 1980s.
“There are no miracles in cycling but the start in Lourdes represents a last opportunity to change the general classification by pushing hard on the pedals in a direct confrontation. It’ll be in the frightening Aspin-Tourmalet-Bordères-Soulor-Aubisque sequence that the destiny of the Yellow Jersey could still be played.”
Stage 20. Saturday, July 28 – Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle / Espelette
Type: Individual Time Trial
Length: 31 km
The penultimate stage is a 31 km individual time trial. 31-km stage is actually not as hilly as the published profile suggests.
“The only individual time-trial of the 105th edition measures 31 kilometres. But the geography of the Basque Country doesn’t make it one for pure time-trialists and should suit the puncher type riders. If the hierarchy for the podium is not established, the climbers who are still fresh at the end of the Tour will have their card to play.”
Stage 21. Sunday, July 29 – Houilles / Paris Champs-Élysées
Length: 31 km
“Like alpine skiers who dream of winning on the Streif in Kitzbühel, tennis players on Wimbledon’s Centre court, or athletes in the Zurich Letzigrund, the sprinters play their major final of the year on the Champs-Élysées. A handful of candidates remain in contention for such an honour. The others relish the joy of finishing the Tour de France.”
- Tour de France 2018 stages on the official site of the Tour: (letour.fr)