2023 Tour de France route rumors

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Oct 14, 2021
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Reading the France Bleu article I cannot tell if they are talking specifically of the mythical climb or simply an arrival in the region Puy de Dome.
They've been teasing a return to the mythical climb so that's how I take it but you're right, the article isn't clear.
 
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So we have our first real rumor. They're going to be in Limoges supposedly on July 8th. What kind of stage finish will that be? Sprint? Then Puy de Dome the next day. So what stages 8 and stages 9? Maybe the weekend before the rest day. Where does that leave us? Will they have done the Pyrenees before that or are they doing a big circle back to the Pyrenees after the rest day? If they do the Pyrenees and Dome before the first rest day. Wow. Also it looks like the rumors of no northern France are correct. Or are they doing a loop of flat sprint stages up north which might explain the start in Charente? Thoughts?
Based on hotel reservations, stage 5 and 6 should be in the Pyrenees. Apparently stage 9 will start in Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat (Poulidors hometown). So that gives us:
Stage 1: hilly/medium mountains (certain)
Stage 2: hilly/medium mountains (certain)
Stage 3: flat final
Stage 4: tt rumoured (not sure if team or individual)
Stage 5: mountainous
Stage 6: mountainous
Stage 7: flat to hilly, going north
Stage 8: further north, to Limoges, flat/rolling
Stage 9: Massif Central, medium mountains
 
Based on hotel reservations, stage 5 and 6 should be in the Pyrenees. Apparently stage 9 will start in Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat (Poulidors hometown). So that gives us:
Stage 1: hilly/medium mountains (certain)
Stage 2: hilly/medium mountains (certain)
Stage 3: flat final
Stage 4: tt rumoured (not sure if team or individual)
Stage 5: mountainous
Stage 6: mountainous
Stage 7: flat to hilly, going north
Stage 8: further north, to Limoges, flat/rolling
Stage 9: Massif Central, medium mountains
Sounds great. I hope and think it's likely that it'll be an ITT of 25-35 km.
 
Based on hotel reservations, stage 5 and 6 should be in the Pyrenees. Apparently stage 9 will start in Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat (Poulidors hometown). So that gives us:
Stage 1: hilly/medium mountains (certain)
Stage 2: hilly/medium mountains (certain)
Stage 3: flat final
Stage 4: tt rumoured (not sure if team or individual)
Stage 5: mountainous
Stage 6: mountainous
Stage 7: flat to hilly, going north
Stage 8: further north, to Limoges, flat/rolling
Stage 9: Massif Central, medium mountains
No reason to hold back if it’s a serious medium mountain stage on stage 9.
 
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Sep 22, 2020
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Based on hotel reservations, stage 5 and 6 should be in the Pyrenees. Apparently stage 9 will start in Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat (Poulidors hometown). So that gives us:
Stage 1: hilly/medium mountains (certain)
Stage 2: hilly/medium mountains (certain)
Stage 3: flat final
Stage 4: tt rumoured (not sure if team or individual)
Stage 5: mountainous
Stage 6: mountainous
Stage 7: flat to hilly, going north
Stage 8: further north, to Limoges, flat/rolling
Stage 9: Massif Central, medium mountains
My suspicion is something like:
3.) Amorebieta > Bayonne (Fl)
4.) Dax > Dax (TTT)
5.) ? > Chalets d'Iraty (MTF unipuerto)
6.) As was suggested in an article, a unique stage in Hautes-Pyrenees. Quite possibly Tourmalet in the middle of the stage and a finish somewhere like Loudenvielle or Lac de Payolle
7.) Since Tarbes has bookings on the 6th and I suspect the finish before will be in Haute Pyrenees, I will go for something like Mont-de-Marsan > Bordeaux or Toulouse > Bergerac
8.) Angouleme ? Perigueux > Limoges (as hilly as they can make it)
9.) Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat > Puy de Dome (department not necessarily the climb.)

All in all that is:
  • 2 hilly stages in the grand depart
  • an early team time trial
  • two mountain stages in Pyrenees including something interesting for Hautes-Pyrenees. It is totally possible stage 5 is Hautes-Pyrenees and stage 6 a summit finish to Plateau de Beille but I think that will be on the women's tour personally. If its on the men's tour then it basically would hint towards the Toulouse Bergerac stage over something to Bordeaux.
  • two stages transitioning to massif central
  • potential for gc action on stage 9
personally I hope Plateau de Beille is not on the men's tour otherwise we might get a stage in Hautes Pyrenees with good design but where nothing will happen among gc guys.
 
Pyrenees on stage 5 and 6 sounds excellent. Not only because we'll get a great first week after already Basque country action on stage 1 and 2 but it also means they'll have to make proper use of massif central and the Alpes (+Vosges?) afterwards otherwise either week 2 or week 3 will be pretty boring.
Maybe they'll indeed do Vosgues after massif central and then Alpes third week?
 
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Sep 22, 2020
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Pyrenees on stage 5 and 6 sounds excellent. Not only because we'll get a great first week after already Basque country action on stage 1 and 2 but it also means they'll have to make proper use of massif central and the Alpes (+Vosges?) afterwards otherwise either week 2 or week 3 will be pretty boring.
Maybe they'll indeed do Vosgues after massif central and then Alpes third week?
My thinking is:
week two will be going up north to the vosges (Col du Haag / Geradmer) then coming back down to the Jura and Grand Colombier
week three will go down the rhone valley and enter the Alps from the south with a climatic finale involving Col de la Loze somewhere in the last few days. the worse option is they enter the alps from the north, finish them off with two stages left and do ANOTHER stage 20 time trial.
 
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In October we‘ll get to know the 2023 TdF route.

What‘s clear already, after a great and entertaining TdF 2022, we could get to see an even better edition in 2023.

Startlist could include Pog and Ayuso, Rog and Vinge, Remco, Hindley, who obviously all could win the TdF in either 2023 or 2024.

Then you have riders like Haig or Simon Yates, who - on paper, and with some optimism - could win their TdF also; Haig has still space to improve and just needs to avoid bad luck, and Simon Yates improved his TT drastically and can win a TdF if he once manages to ride a constant TdF. He‘s one of the best climbers in the world, and time trials as fast as the best GT GC guys.

Guys to watch for TdF victory in 2023 and 2024 IMHO are:

UAE: Pog, Ayuso,
Jumbo: Rog, Vinge,
QS: Remco,
Bora: Hindley,
Bahrain: Haig,
and Bike Exchange: S. Yates.
From Ineos, we have Bernal, Carlos Rodriguez, and possibly Pidcock.
 
Oct 14, 2021
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Based on hotel reservations, stage 5 and 6 should be in the Pyrenees. Apparently stage 9 will start in Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat (Poulidors hometown). So that gives us:
Stage 1: hilly/medium mountains (certain)
Stage 2: hilly/medium mountains (certain)
Stage 3: flat final
Stage 4: tt rumoured (not sure if team or individual)
Stage 5: mountainous
Stage 6: mountainous
Stage 7: flat to hilly, going north
Stage 8: further north, to Limoges, flat/rolling
Stage 9: Massif Central, medium mountains
Thanks for this. I hope Stage 4 is an ITT, I hate TTT in grand tours. This has the potential to be a particularly tough route. There's maybe 3-4 pure sprint stages in those first 9 days. Stage 7 could be more classics than sprint, same with stage 8. I find two things interesting about this proposed route.
  1. It's a lot tougher than the other option with a Basque state which is spend 3-5 stages cycling around the Bay of Biscay in what would be beautiful but mostly boring sprint stages before heading back down to the Pyrenees for the stages before the 1st rest day.
  2. This route as your outlined places them in the eastern half of the country with a decent amount of time left to go. I wonder where they will spend all that time. One thing is for sure, I love the proposed first 9 stages and all the fun it leaves as options for the rest of the race because I really enjoy the eastern half of France.
 
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Sep 22, 2020
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Is hoping for 50km mid-race TT somewhere around stage 12.
I hope so too, I am expecting a TTT on stage 4 of a similar length to the one in 2018 and then for a long TT you could say have it in Champagne region / around Dijon before heading to the Vosges to end week 2.

E.g:
10.) Flat
11.) ITT in champgane
12.) flat
13.) vosges (Geradmer, Grand Ballon via col du Haag?)
14.) transition stage similar style to 2014 Besancon Oyonnax
15.) Jura specifically Grand Colombier seems likely

or end week 2 in the Vosges allowing you to explore it more, and give you more time to move up from Massif Central to the Vosges.
 
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Oct 14, 2021
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I hope so too, I am expecting a TTT on stage 4 of a similar length to the one in 2018 and then for a long TT you could say have it in Champagne region / around Dijon before heading to the Vosges to end week 2.

E.g:
10.) Flat
11.) ITT in champgane
12.) flat
13.) vosges (Geradmer, Grand Ballon via col du Haag?)
14.) transition stage similar style to 2014 Besancon Oyonnax
15.) Jura specifically Grand Colombier seems likely

or end week 2 in the Vosges allowing you to explore it more, and give you more time to move up from Massif Central to the Vosges.
Sign me up for an ITT in Champagne/ Dijon. The moment that happens, I am booking my hotel in Dijon. I've taken a train past Dijon and through that region. I always thought it looked beautiful and I've been waiting for a fun stage finish there. Make it an ITT? Yes sir, sounds perfect.
 
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A Puy de Dome ITT would at least solve the logistic issue regarding the small street. Still, as I mentioned before I'm kinda missing the inside on why they banned cycling there in the first place and would suddenly consider now the TdF Caravan to go through?

Yeah, google streetview is a bit deceiving, it's probably wider than Gamoniteiru although you'd have huge issue if something would happen to a car because unlike other climbs where you could still somehow move into the gutter you'd be literally stuck between the barrier and the train track.

Still, I'd be very surprised if they get allowed to go up there. The road has been closed for cyclists(!!!!) for over 10 years now - something I never understood, maybe a French member with more insight could enlighten me: Why do you ban the most ecologically friendly and safe way (apart from walking) to get up in favor for a tourist train (don't get me wrong, I love trains but here???)? Who the heck signed off on this?

And now suddenly the massive caravan of the TdF is being considered to get the go? Would be quite odd but I guess the Tour is king so maybe that reason is enough.
 
well, the Puy the Dome itself is a nice climb, with a beautifull sourrounding. However, in the 60-80's it was also something spectacular %-wise. Nowadays, an average Vuelta has several stages with some 3rd category and then / finish . Four kilometer at 12% is still is steep, but nog unseen anymore. And racing wise it quite predictable. If the start from Clermond-Ferand there are some reasonable steep 6-8% steep kilometers to thin out the peloton and the favorites has to wait for the 4 kilometers. While I like to see the climb back in the tour, I think the hype around it will be more than the stage can deliver.
 
A Puy de Dome ITT would at least solve the logistic issue regarding the small street. Still, as I mentioned before I'm kinda missing the inside on why they banned cycling there in the first place and would suddenly consider now the TdF Caravan to go through?
The only explanation I see is because what goes up must come down, and having only one narrow road up they might have deemed it unsafe for bikes to go downhill while others would be coming up in opposite direction.
 
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The only explanation I see is because what goes up must come down, and having only one narrow road up they might have deemed it unsafe for bikes to go downhill while others would be coming up in opposite direction.
I can’t remember how much space there would be for vehicles etc at the top (I walked the trail up) but it might be hard to expand beyond the blacktop area because it is an archeological site?
 
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Oct 14, 2021
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well, the Puy the Dome itself is a nice climb, with a beautifull sourrounding. However, in the 60-80's it was also something spectacular %-wise. Nowadays, an average Vuelta has several stages with some 3rd category and then / finish . Four kilometer at 12% is still is steep, but nog unseen anymore. And racing wise it quite predictable. If the start from Clermond-Ferand there are some reasonable steep 6-8% steep kilometers to thin out the peloton and the favorites has to wait for the 4 kilometers. While I like to see the climb back in the tour, I think the hype around it will be more than the stage can deliver.
It is a nice climb, in all likelihood not a race changing or defining climb but still one that would be a fun stage. I think the comparison with la Planche is fair but my problem with la Planche isn't that it fails to change the outcome of the Tour but rather that it's in the race what seems like every year.

The flip side of that is, what's the opportunity cost for a Puy Dome or a La Planche? Part of what makes them so popular with the race organizers is the same thing that makes them unpopular among fans- the lack of nearby connecting challenging mountains. However, if you avoid them, what are you adding in their place? I rather have them every year than sprint stages in their place.
 
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