2023 Tour de France route rumors

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Tourmalet sides don't differ much but the west side but isn't consistently steep until the final 1.5km. That stage does likely have too much easy terrain before Cauterets too early in the race though.
Yes, I agree. I think in the last week a stage like Luchon - Cauterets could work really well. Peyresourde - Val Louron Azet - Hourquette d'Ancizan - Tourmalet - Cauterets (Cambasque) seems really a stage I would like to see. Immediately uphill from the start for having a strong break/ surprises with top 10 GC riders with a difficult start. Tired legs already when starting the Tourmalets and incentive to attack early (hard climb - easy climb combo). But with just Tourmalet and Cauterets it's probably the wrong kind of stage for being stage 5. No incentive to already take risk on Tourmalet. A lot of teams still with a rider close in the GC and helpers with fresh legs.
 
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Dax - Laruns may include Soudet + Marie-Blanque in 180km and turn into something similar to the 2020 stage. The only difference is that this time it would not come preceded by another mountain stage.
It really depends. A combo of Burdincurutcheta + Soudet + Marie Blanque could even work on stage 4. Burdincurutcheta and Soudet are not easy at all (Borderline HC) and Marie Blanque has that crazy steep last 4 k (well steep at least from Tour perspective). I mean, not something like last year Ganon stage of course, but at least to see some first testing by the favorites on the last steep kilometers of the Marie Blanque. But just Marie Blanque and still quite some flat to Laruns will probably not enough to really have GC riders trying something.
 
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First of all I think the stage to Lauruns is a classified mountain stage, but it's mostly a breakaway thing. I doubt, that it will be a GC stage. Pau - Cautarets is in my opinion not a good choice for a week one stage, even with the Col de Tourmalet and maybe Col d'Aspin beforehand, because there is a valley before the final climb and the final climb itself is not hard. Cautarets with Tourmalet, Aspin, Peyresourde and Port de Bales would be an epic stage in a third week where riders have to start their desperation mode.

Do we know, where the stage starting from Tarbes will go? If stage 7 starts is Mont-de-Marsan then the tour has to gain ground towards that town and stage 6 will be more of a transition/sprint stage. Otherwise stage 6 could provide us with the only GC relevant pyrenees stage in 2023.
Aspin-tourmalet-cauterets it's a perfect stage for attacks from far. It's the type of stage like mortilo-aprica or the stage of stelvio at the giro 2020.
 
Yes, I agree. I think in the last week a stage like Luchon - Cauterets could work really well. Peyresourde - Val Louron Azet - Hourquette d'Ancizan - Tourmalet - Cauterets (Cambasque) seems really a stage I would like to see. Immediately uphill from the start for having a strong break/ surprises with top 10 GC riders with a difficult start. Tired legs already when starting the Tourmalets and incentive to attack early (hard climb - easy climb combo). But with just Tourmalet and Cauterets it's probably the wrong kind of stage for being stage 5. No incentive to already take risk on Tourmalet. A lot of teams still with a rider close in the GC and helpers with fresh legs.


They did already a kind of simular stage in the past, unfortunately it was one of the saddest stages in tour history :pensive:
 
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Aspin-tourmalet-cauterets it's a perfect stage for attacks from far. It's the type of stage like mortilo-aprica or the stage of stelvio at the giro 2020.
We had that in 2015. It was not like Mortirolo-Aprica.

Going up to Cambasque/Crêtes-du-Lys in 1995 had the best possible setup for that combo.

In the first week, I expect it more to be raced as in 2015 than as 1995.
 
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We had that in 2015. It was not like Mortirolo-Aprica.

Going up to Cambasque/Crêtes-du-Lys in 1995 had the best possible setup for that combo.

In the first week, I expect it more to be raced as in 2015 than as 1995.
The riders make the race. They did not take advantage of that stage in 2015. I believe it would be different with pogacar and vingegaard. They're not afraid of attack from far.
 
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Everyone seems to think the final ITT on stage 20 will either be in Dijon or Besancon. Honestly, the hotel reservations don't seem to confirm that. Both have plenty of rooms still available. But we shall see.
 
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3 things I am looking for rumor wise:

1) Where and how hard will the ITTs be. I'd love to attend one of them. I am also curious how much the Tour and the Giro will be competing for the recently crowned World Champion.

2) How much bite will the Vosges pack in week 3. If the rumors are to be believed, we go Pyrenes and Alps in weeks 1 and 2 and then finish in the Vosges. Will they pack enough of a punch to keep the GC riders honest or will it be a third week for the stage hunters and not much more? For me, the Vosges are the key to making this route work. If they're strong, we're looking at 3 relentless weeks of racing. If they're meh, I am sure there will be a lot of complaints about the route.

3) Will the race cross back into Switzerland. I love Swiss stage finishes. Just a personal thing.
 
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It does feel a bit weird that France somehow lacks the quantity of huge climbs that Italy has. I am a bit curious about the ongoing paving of some bike trials over climbs like Loze and that other one I forgot the name of
France doesn't have monster climbs like Mortirolo or Fineste (or a MTF close to Zoncolan in difficulty), but there are some really good climbs there that are close to the toughest that can be used in the Giro (other than the ones already mentioned). But most of these is poorly coupled to other good climbs. Ventoux just lies there all by itself. And if climbs like Madeleine or Mont du Chat could be immidiately followed by a 10-12 km, 5 % climb to a big ski resort, I'm pretty sure that we would see that combo often.

The plans regarding Tougnete and Loze are therefore really exciting. Here we can have a combo almost equavivalent to anything in Italy. First the last part to Tougnete, 6,7 km, 9,3 % according to the profile, where the last 600m is 19 %. Followed by a short descent and then 10,1 km at 8,6 %. And then a descent and a finish at Courchevel altiport or one of the nearby ski stations.




 
I agree with the post mentioning Switzerland: that's where the toughest Jura climbs are.

A stage finish atop or below le Grand Colombier and/or Mont du Chat will be tempting for ASO, then I would like to see a tough Jura medium mountain stage with a Mont-Soleil or Chasseral finish. Then maybe the ITT folllowed by one last shot for the contenders to roll the dice in the Vosges.

The problem with the Vosges is that it's hard to come up with a proper mountain stage design and link the hard climbs without too much descent/flat in between them. I'd love to see the Grand Ballon via Moosch though.
 
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I agree with the post mentioning Switzerland: that's where the toughest Jura climbs are.

A stage finish atop or below le Grand Colombier and/or Mont du Chat will be tempting for ASO, then I would like to see a tough Jura medium mountain stage with a Mont-Soleil or Chasseral finish. Then maybe the ITT folllowed by one last shot for the contenders to roll the dice in the Vosges.

The problem with the Vosges is that it's hard to come up with a proper mountain stage design and link the hard climbs without too much descent/flat in between them. I'd love to see the Grand Ballon via Moosch though.
Couldn't you have a Paris-Nice type stage that finishes in Neuchâtel? A day of climbing followed by a tough descent into a fabulous city on the water. The kind of race that tempts attacks from start to finish.
 
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Th
France doesn't have monster climbs like Mortirolo or Fineste (or a MTF close to Zoncolan in difficulty), but there are some really good climbs there that are close to the toughest that can be used in the Giro (other than the ones already mentioned). But most of these is poorly coupled to other good climbs. Ventoux just lies there all by itself. And if climbs like Madeleine or Mont du Chat could be immidiately followed by a 10-12 km, 5 % climb to a big ski resort, I'm pretty sure that we would see that combo often.

The plans regarding Tougnete and Loze are therefore really exciting. Here we can have a combo almost equavivalent to anything in Italy. First the last part to Tougnete, 6,7 km, 9,3 % according to the profile, where the last 600m is 19 %. Followed by a short descent and then 10,1 km at 8,6 %. And then a descent and a finish at Courchevel altiport or one of the nearby ski stations.




There's some other great climbs like cime de la bonnete, iseran that could make great differences.
But i would like to see col du sabot and plateau de saix at the tour.
 
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we can always hope for a last 100 k of that stage:

-grand ballon (new HC side)
-Col du Bannstein (4th cat)
-Col de Firstplan (2nd cat)
-Col du Petit-Ballon (1st cat)
-Col de Platzerwazel (1st cat)
-Grand Ballon (4th cat)

If you add one or two smaller climbs before you have a very decent stage
 
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95% chance Grand Ballon will be a MTF then, which defeats all the purpose of doing the Vosgues last.
I don't understand your comment.
What's wrong with doing the Vosges last if it contains a MTF?
Do you think the whole peloton will refrain from attacking in the Tour until the last climb in the Vosges???
I don't think the Tour are trying to do what they did in 09 with Ventoux....
 
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I don't understand your comment.
What's wrong with doing the Vosges last if it contains a MTF?
Do you think the whole peloton will refrain from attacking in the Tour until the last climb in the Vosges???
I don't think the Tour are trying to do what they did in 09 with Ventoux....
The point of a Vosges finale is to have a final mountain stage akin to what the Vuelta did last year. If you want a big MTF showdown to decide it all (and you shouldn't in the first place - even if it's still close, the 2017 Tour and 2022 Giro both remind us how boring they often are, and the 2020 Vuelta probably swings the other way in spectacular fashion if Carapaz has anywhere to attack in the final week that isn't the final MTF), there are dozens of better options in the Alps alone.
 
It's really not - it would be softer than several classic 1st category climbs. Like Menté west, Agnès south.

The only major difficulties are in the final 3kms...

They can label it a HC if they do not repave it ;-)
It's a soft HC, which means that if they make it HC they're probably gimmicking it up, going all for that novelty factor and thus making it the MTF
I don't understand your comment.
What's wrong with doing the Vosges last if it contains a MTF?
Do you think the whole peloton will refrain from attacking in the Tour until the last climb in the Vosges???
I don't think the Tour are trying to do what they did in 09 with Ventoux....
Final GC stage as a vanilla MTF on a lukewarm HC is just not it. As @Devil's Elbow said, it just conceptually doesn't really work as a final GT stage, and there's not even really any reason to hype it up super much because there is no upside to making such a stage the final GC stage. You literally need it to be a battle for seconds to have any tension and even then it can still underdeliver.
 
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The Le Grand Ballon rumors are interesting. I do think I approach this a differently than some of you. I don't think anyone who wants an epic, final mountain stage on stage 19 or 20 is going to be happy with anything in the Vosges . At least with the Le Grand Ballon they're trying something. Does it seem a bit gimmicky? Sure. But honestly, I for one will find it interesting to see how a route that hits the Pyrenees and the Alps in weeks 1 and 2 plays out. This route looks to be relentless if not impossible. I like that, but maybe that's because I still remember the 8 sprint stages in a row in the Tour.

From a practical standpoint, Le Grand Ballon puts us pretty far north and pretty close to Paris for stage 19. Which brings us back to stage 20. The hotel reservations simply don't back up a Besançon or a Dijon ITT for stage 20 though in theory Dijon is big enough for us to not necessary notice the Tour reservations at this point. So I really have no idea. I've searched the hotel sites for all neighboring cities near La Grand Ballon and all still have plenty of rooms so I am not sure. It's possible they do it in a small town but I don't know, I don't see that.
 
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