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The 105th Tour de France is made up of 21 stages and covers 2,069 miles
That’s the distance from New York to Las Vegas! It’s that time again, when cycling royalty takes to the long and winding roads of the Hexagon for the world’s most grueling bike race – 22 teams of 8 riders – 176 starters. The 22-day event is colossal; 12 million spectators are expected to line the route with the 21 stages broadcast live in more than 60 countries.
The iconic competition began on 7th July from Noirmoutier-en-l’Île, western France, up hills and mountains and down dales onto excruciating cobblestones – resulting in the final push for victory – and the yellow jersey on July 29th when the racers pedal furiously from Houilles towards Paris for the traditional evening stage, with lots of champagne, and 8 exciting circuits of the city and the Champs Elysées.
This year, Le Tour pedals down the Golden Triangle’s Avenue Montaigne; the men in lycra whizz right in front of the landmark Parisian Hôtel Plaza Athénée. So why not watch the action from one of the Plaza’s splendid rooms with a view (from €1450) or suites with a view (from €1780)?
Or consider the outdoor La Cour Jardin, which, for the summer season transforms into a gorgeous green stripe Cabana Café, just like their sister Dorchester Collection Beverly Hills Hotel, California, with accents on salads and milk shakes for lunch and dinner. Or just swing by for cocktails in “Le Bar du Plaza Athénée”. And if all the excitement leaves you feeling a bit rumpled and crumpled – there’s always the Dior Institut to soothe mind and body.
If Chris Froome (Team Sky) wins, he’ll celebrate his fifth victory. The pundits point out that this technical course also suits Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), Nairo Quintana (Team Movistar), Richie Porte (Team BMC Racing), Romain Bardet (TeamAg2r-La Mondiale) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida).
Follow the Tour and prepare to be amazed by the spectacular scenery – impressed by the competitor’s dedication, skill and endurance.
May the best man win!
Stage 1, July 7: Noirmoutier-en-l’Ile – Fontenay-le-Comte, 189km
Stage 2, July 8: Mouilleron-Saint-Germain – La Roche-sur-Yon, 183km
Stage 3, July 9: Cholet – Cholet (TTT), 35km
Stage 4, July 10: La Baule – Sarzeau, 192km
Stage 5, July 11: Lorient – Quimper, 203km
Stage 6, July 12: Brest – Mûr de Bretagne Guerlédan, 181km
Stage 7, July 13: Fougères – Chartres, 231km
Stage 8, July 14: Dreux – Amiens Métropole, 181km
Stage 9, July 15: Arras Citadelle – Roubaix, 154km
Rest day, July 16: Annecy
Stage 10, July 17: Annecy – Le Grand Bornand, 159km
Stage 11, July 18: Albertville – La Rosière, 108km
Stage 12, July 19: Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arcs – Alpe d’Huez, 175km
Stage 13, July 20: Bourg d’Oisans – Valence, 169km
Stage 14, July 21: Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux – Mende, 187km
Stage 15, July 22: Millau – Carcassonne, 181km
Rest day, July 23: Carcassonne
Stage 16, July 24: Carcassonne – Bagnères-de-Luchon, 218km
Stage 17, July 25: Bagnères-de-Luchon – Saint-Lary-Soulan (Col de Portet), 65km
Stage 18, July 26: Trie-sur-Baïse – Pau, 172km
Stage 19, July 27: Lourdes – Laruns, 200km
Stage 20, July 28: Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle – Espelette (ITT), 31km
Stage 21, July 29: Houilles – Paris Champs Elysées, 115km
Lead photo credit : The 2017 finish of the Tour de France. Image courtesy of Le Tour.