The race will begin with a 13 km individual time trial in Copenhagen before taking the peloton over the 18 km Great Belt Bridge in the second stage.
“The wind blows here 364 days a year,” tour director Christian Prudhomme told reporters on Thursday.
Those who pass the three-day opening block in Denmark and the fourth stage through the Flanders hills will face the fifth stage through the cobbled sectors between Lille and Ehrenburg.
This is when light climbers expected to suffer losses on the day can be affected by accidents and mechanical issues due to difficult terrain, which is usually favored by one-day race experts.
“To get through these stages and hope to win the Tour, you’ll need to be a versatile rider and have a strong team at your disposal,” said Tour deputy director Thierry Gauvenau.
Pogacar, who outclassed his rivals in the mountains in the previous edition, has also proved that he is a strong one-day classic rider, having won the Lige-Bastogne-Liege and the Giro de Lombardia Monumental Classics this year and the nature of it. Given the route, it’s hard for the tour favorite to look any further than that.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment since this year’s tour ended,” Pogakar told reporters at the presentation ceremony on Thursday.
“I’m looking forward to the race. It’s all about it, it’s going to be fun. I don’t know which is the most important stage. There are so many stages where you can lose the Tour and stages where you can win it.”
The race will reach its highest point at the top of the lung-blasting climb to Col du Galibier, 2,607 m above sea level on the way to the summit at Col du Granan (2,413 m) after a hard 11.3 km run. at an average gradient of 9.3%.
The 12th stage starts at Briançon and ends atop the prestigious Alpe d’Huez (at 13.8 km 8.1%), taking a similar route to the 1986 Tour when five-time winners Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond joined hand-in-hand. A famous one-two across the line.
The Frenchman had said he would help his La Vie Claire team win the race, a year after benefiting from the American’s help in the previous edition.
“Both should be on tour for this stage next year,” Prudhomme said of the former riders.
After two brutal stages in the Pyrenees, the race will be completed with a 40 km individual time trial in south-western France and a mostly processional ride to the Champs Elysees in Paris.