How to watch the Tour de France 2023
After a Giro d'Italia that left most fans cold, the hopes of the lovers of the Grand Tours are now focused on what the atypical route that the Tour de France has prepared for this 2023 edition will bring us and that will have a spectacular start in the lands of the Basque Country. Will Pogacar arrive on time, will Vingegaard add his second Tour? We'll see in less than a month.
Tour de France 2023 is approaching, make your predictions
No matter how much its peculiar route or the scarce weight of the time trial is criticized, even if they have fallen into the temptation of stages with short kilometers in the style of what La Vuelta has been practicing, in spite of everything, the Tour is the Tour and the month of July cycling would not be understood without this race that captures the attention of the whole world and even transcends beyond the world of cycling itself.
A competition in which the riders arrive at their best, in which the peloton is pushed to the extreme and many are those who seek to justify their season in this race, either by achieving a great overall or by fighting for the highly coveted stage victories. Before you, the greatest spectacle in cycling.
Dates and stages of Tour de France 2023
The month of July is synonymous with vacations, heat and, also, of those afternoons watching the cyclists ride through the endless landscapes of France. Specifically, from Saturday, July 1st, when the race will give its Grand Départ in the streets of Bilbao, until Sunday, July 23rd, when the race will finish, following tradition, on the Champs Elysées, the most famous avenue in Paris. Incidentally, a tradition that will be abandoned in 2024 in favor of Nice due to the coincidence with the Olympic Games.
- Stage 1 - 01/07/2023: Bilbao - Bilbao – 182 km
- Stage 2 - 02/07/2023: Vitoria - San Sebastián – 209 km
- Stage 3 - 03/07/2023: Amorebieta - Bayona – 185 km
- Stage 4 - 04/07/2023: Dax – Nogaro – 182 km
- Stage 5 - 05/07/2023: Pau – Laruns – 165 km
- Stage 6 - 06/07/2023: Tarbes – Cauterets – 145 km
- Stage 7 - 07/07/2023: Mont de Marsan – Burdeos – 170 km
- Stage 8 - 08/07/2023: Libourne – Limoges – 201 km
- Stage 9 - 09/07/2023: Saint Léonard de Noblat – Puy de Dome – 184 km
- Rest day - 10/07/2023
- Stage 10 - 11/07/2023: Vulcania – Issoire – 167 km
- Stage 11 - 12/07/2023: Clermont Ferrand – Moulins – 180 km
- Stage 12 - 13/07/2023: Roanne - Belleville en Beaujolais – 169 km
- Stage 13 - 14/07/2023: Chatillon su Chalaronne - Grand Colombier – 138 k
- Stage 14 - 15/07/2023: Annemase – Morzine – 152 km
- Stage 15 - 16/07/2023: Les Gets - Saint Gervais Mont Blanc – 180 km
- Rest day - 17/07/2023
- Stage 16 - 18/07/2023: Passy - Combloux – 22 km (CRI)
- Stage 17 - 19/07/2023: Saint Gervais Mont Blanc – Courchevel – 166 km
- Stage 18 - 20/07/2023: Moutiers - Bourg en Bresse – 186 km
- Stage 19 - 21/07/2023: Moirans en Montagne – Poligny – 173 km
- Stage 20 - 22/07/2023: Belfort – Le Markstein Fellering – 133 km
- Stage 21 - 23/07/2023: Saint Quentin en Yvelines - Paris Champs Elysées – 115 km
A Tour de France 2023 that starts more intense than ever, as it could not be otherwise, with the broken terrain of Euskadi as a stage. In fact, the first stage is a very tough leg-breaker full of small hills and that will have as dessert, just 10 kilometers from the conclusion, the very hard ascent to Pike Bidea, the typical small road between hamlets, short but with really hard slopes and that, who knows, could cause some favorite to dare to try from the beginning.
The mid-mountain terrain typical of the Basque Country will continue in a second day that will link Vitoria and San Sebastian. Although its route is less violent than that of the previous day, once again, the ascent to Jaizkibel in its final stretch, paying homage to La Clasica de San Sebastián, will surely lead to a select group at the finish, obviously without the presence of fast men.
Sprinters who could enjoy their first chance in the third part on the road to Bayonne will have to work hard, as again the broken terrain, this time along the Basque coast, will make them suffer to keep their chances. In fact, it is perhaps more likely to be a good stage for a breakaway rather than a mass finish.
The Tour de France returns to the clichés of the first week with a 4th stage that, at last, will be clearly destined for the fastest men in the peloton. Just a small respite that will serve the strongest to regain strength for what awaits them the following days with the arrival of the Pyrenees that are presented to the race sooner than ever.
The first day has plenty of terrain for us to see the first battles between the favorites with nothing less than the ascent of the Soudet from Sainte Engrace, which is probably the hardest face of the 7 roads leading to the St. Martin's Stone. An unpleasant starter that will be followed by the small but tough Col d'Ichère as a foretaste of one of the mythical of the Tour de France such as the Marie Blanque and its terrifying 4 kilometers above 10% and the always oppressive atmosphere of its narrow valley that will leave the cyclists about 15 kilometers from the finish line in Laruns.
Homage to the myths
The second chapter of the Pyrenees recovers one of the once traditional finishes, in fact, in Cauterets was the place where a certain Miguel Indurain, almost an unknown at the time, achieved his first stage victory in the 1989 Tour de France anticipating what we would see a year later.
Along the way, a classic link-up, with the Aspin and the mythical Tourmalet setting the stage for the first serious battle for the overall. A terrain where there are no excuses to hide and where the favorites have to start showing their cards.
The race will leave the mountain range with a tribute to the great Luis Ocaña starting stage 7 in Mont de Marsan, the town that hosted the second winner of a Tour de France that had Spain for most of his life. A completely flat route on the way to Bordeaux will be the menu for this day and, like the previous day of these characteristics, serves as an interlude between two hard blocks.
In this case it is a foretaste of the arrival in the Massif Central with a first leg breaker on the way to Limoges and, above all, the 9th stage in which the Tour returns to another of its iconic stages such as the Puy de Dome, one of the many extinct volcanoes present in the landscape of the Auvergne region, undoubtedly the most famous of all. An ascent reminiscent of classic cycling. That of Poulidor and Anquetil climbing shoulder to shoulder in true agony while ahead the great Julio Jiménez took one of his best victories; or that of Eddy Mercks receiving a punch in the stomach in the 1975 Tour that days later would take its toll on him in Pra Loup, giving up a yellow jersey that he would never wear again.
A stage with a leg-breaking prelude and that the simple hardness of the Puy de Dome alone will serve to make the differences in the overall start to be noticeable.
After the rest day, more mid-mountain terrain in the center of France, those roads that, as Perico Delgado would say, have magnetic fields that prevent the bike from moving forward. In total there will be three tremendously complicated stages in which the favorites will not move but where, those who like good cycling, can surely enjoy those days in which breakaways are formed with riders of great level and that give us a festival of tactics and attacks to achieve the stage victory.
Thus we come to the Alps, which will have its first chapter on day 14 in one of those experiments that raises this Tour with just 137 km and monopole configuration on the way to the Grand Colombier, a port with enough hardness to see attacks for the overall, although the lack of previous hardness will probably make the race arrive without selecting at his feet.
More attractive is stage 15, which presents another of those routes that any good fan would practically know how to describe, and where the final link-up with the hard Cols de la Ramaz and Joux Plane stands out, the latter with its descent almost as decisive as its ascent and which will leave the riders in another of the classic goals of the Tour, the town of Morzine.
In the crescendo of the Tour de France in its Alpine journey, the race will have a third chapter formed by a real stage that will take the riders to Saint Gervais Mont Blanc after a route full of passes. These days will end with the second rest day, which will be the prelude to the only time trial of the race, of just 22.4 km.
After the time trial, we do not leave the Alps and the race will continue with another very hard chained route to Courchevel with mythical climbs such as the Col de Saisies or the Cormet de Rosselend on the way before facing the very hard Col de la Loze, ending the stage with a few kilometers downhill to the aforementioned ski resort.
Closing ceremony in Vosges
After this very hard day the Tour de France should be practically decided, however, ASO has prepared an atypical end of the party with two transition stages that will leave the riders before stage 20 that takes the peloton to the Vosges to offer the last chance to alter the overall with a very hard stage with the Ballon d'Alsace, the Petit Ballon or the Platzerwasel as real battle territory to try to turn the race around before the final tribute to the winner the next day on the Champs Elysees.
A Tour de France that combines innovation with nods to the tradition of the race and that, without being perhaps as hard as in other editions, offers plenty of ground to show off as long as the attitude and strength of the protagonists, hopefully, accompanies.
Favorites and how they arrive
The 2023 Tour de France is expected to be a duel, or rather a rematch, between reigning Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard and Slovenian Tadej Pogacar.
Jonas Vingegaard has brought to the Tour de France an impeccable preparation, which these days ends to refine with the dispute of the Critérium du Dauphiné. Although he was beaten by Pogacar in Paris-Nice, the solvency he showed winning O Gran Camiño and Itzulia, besides being the reigning winner, make him the main favorite.
A designation that the Dane earns in the face of uncertainty about the form of Tadej Pogacar, who comes to the Tour de France looking to regain his throne. After a simply imperial start to the season, an untimely crash during the Liège-Bastogne-Liège in which he fractured the scaphoid of his left hand has been an unexpected setback on his way to the start in Bilbao. In any case, Tadej has already been training for several weeks and will surely be as competitive and ambitious as usual.
INEOS Grenadiers is the great unknown of the Tour de France although, after the good sensations that they have left us after the Giro d'Italia, the hopes that they can have a good Tour based on their strength as a team have grown several levels. It remains to be seen what their two mainstays are capable of offering, an Egan Bernal who continues to raise doubts about his recovery after last year's serious accident and a Carlos Rodriguez who also arrives after a long break due to the injury he suffered in Strade Bianche. In any case, they will be supported by the best of the British squad and, for sure, they can be the unbalancing factor of the race.
At the same level as those mentioned above, we should include Enric Mas, who seems to arrive at the Tour with a motivation and attitude that have little to do with the extreme situation he suffered last year. The Mallorcan has had a good start to the season and, despite the lack of victories, he has shown himself to be competitive and with the necessary ambition to look for his chance.
Another of those who has prepared the Tour thoroughly is none other than Mikel Landa, who will be supported in the race by an always willing Pello Bilbao. Hopefully the rider from Vitoria will have the legs of the great occasions and will be able to offer the spectacle that everyone expects him to give us. However, realistically, in terms of the general classification he would be a step below the aforementioned riders, although, if everything goes in his favor, he is capable of being with the best.
Finally, although he is not a rider for the general classification, the race will offer a point of morbidity with the participation of Mark Cavendish who, in the year of his farewell, will try to take advantage of one of the few opportunities for the fast men in this Tour de France to leave a victory for history, the one that places him as the cyclist who has managed to win more stages in the French round, surpassing, no less, the legendary Eddy Merckx.
How to watch the Tour de France 2023
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