The 106th edition of one of cycling’s three grand tours- Tour de France began on 6th July with 176 cyclists covering a distance of 3,460 Kms divided into 21 stages. The Grand Depart (starting point) of 2019 will from Brussels, Belgium in honour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of five-time winner Eddy Merckx’s first victory, while the entire race will celebrate the centenary of the maillot jaune, or yellow jersey and the mountainous route ends on the Champs-Élysées in Paris on July 28th. Geraint Thomas was crowned 2018 champion which marked the sixth win in seven tries for Team Sky (now team Ineos) but this year in order to make the competition exciting the organizers have set up some interesting stage profiles in 21 unorthodox routes.
We bring you the complete guide to Tour de France 2019 – from Tour de France route map, stages, dates, teams and the pre-favourites, in this piece we educate you every aspect of Tour de France 2019.
Tour de France 2019 Route Map:
The tour will kick off to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Eddy Merckx’s first victory from the Place Royale in Brussels and the cyclists will head to the Wall of Geraardsbergen and Bosberg to cover a distance of 194.5 Km while the second stage will be a team trial of 27.6 Km in the boulevards of Brussels. Stage three will see the cyclists entering France from the Belgian town of Binche and will conclude with a hard but exciting finish at the uphill of Épernay. Stage four will begin from the flat land of Remis to Nancy and then the cyclists have to battle in Stage 5 on hilly terrain from Saint-Dié-des-Vosges to Colmar.
The battle of General Classification begins on stage six as the race returns to La Planche des Belles Filles with 6 intermediate climbs. Stage seven finishes in Chalon-sur-Saône and stage 8 will be on the holiday weekend which will see the cyclists challenging each other in a hilly area with 3,750 vertical metres to Saint-Étienne. Stages 9 and 10 will take place in the highland region of Massif Central before the competition’s first rest day. The following stages after the rest day will see the cyclists covering the Pyrenees in Southwest Europe tackling the high altitude mountains in the following four stages before they are given their second rest day. Stage 16 throws a bone to the sprinters with a stage that should end in a field sprint which ends in Nîmes. Stage 17 will take the riders into the Alps and after 3 competitive alpine stages, the final showdown for the yellow jersey will then take to its traditional finish in Paris along the Champs-Élysées.
Tour de France 2019 Teams and Pre-Favourites:
This edition of Tour de France will see a total of 22 teams– 18 from the World Tour teams (UCI WorldTeams) and 4 from the organizers, Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) as wildcard entry competing for the yellow jersey. Each of the 22 teams will be allowed a maximum number of eight riders.
Following Chris Froome’s significant injury in mid-June and Tom Dumoulin’s absence due to a knee injury, both the runners up and second runner up from 2018 tour will not take part this year. Although the favourite to start and defend his title will be Geraint Thomas but the competition will be open to several notable sleepers and other top riders like Egan Bernal and Jakob Fuglsang.
Tour de France 2019 Prize Money:
Total prize money of £2million (€2.3m) is on offer for riders competing in the Tour de France this year. The winner of the 2019 Tour de France general classification will be rewarded with a cash prize over €500,000. There is a prize breakdown with every classification of jersey and acing the polka dot and green jersey classifications will net the riders $40,200 the best young rider will take home $32,150 while the top-placed team will pocket $80,400. The organizers have also offered some huge incentives for the riders during each stage of the tour.