Guide to the Tour de France in 2023, stage by stage
The 110th Tour de France begins on Saturday, July 1 in Bilbao, Spain, and ends on Sunday, July 24 in Paris.
During the 3,404km (2,115 mile) event, the cyclists will travel through the Pyrenees and Alps for eight mountain stages and an individual time trial.
In order to determine where the arduous three-week competition could be won or lost, BBC Sport examines each stage.
The winner and a brief summary from each stage will be posted on this page throughout the Tour.
First stage: Bilbao to Bilbao, 182 kilometers, on Saturday, July 1.
One of the 12 new cities hosting Tour stages this year is Bilbao.
Starting off this year’s Tour is a challenging, mountainous day that circumnavigates Bilbao. Over 3,000 meters of elevation gain are included on the 182 km route, which begins at the striking Guggenheim Museum and loops out to the Bay of Biscay coastline.
One of five categorised climbs on a stage that is likely to favor the puncheurs—riders who prefer short, steep climbs—is the spiky Pike Bidea climb, located 10 kilometers from the city-center finish.
Wout van Aert, Julian Alaphilippe, Tom Pidcock, and Tadej Pogacar are riders to keep an eye on.
Stage two, from Vitoria-Gasteiz to San Sebastian on July 2, is 208.9 kilometers.
The 1992 Tour de France Grand Depart was held at San Sebastian, where Miguel Indurain won the prologue.
The Tour’s longest stage and five additional categorize-able mountains appear on day two.
Just under 20 kilometers from the finish line, the Jaizkibel climb, famed from the San Sebastian Classic, is expected to have an impact on the result and possibly the early race lead.
Watch out for: Wout van Aert and Biniam Girmay
Stage three, Amorebieta-Etxano-Bayonne, is scheduled for Monday, July 3.
Didier Deschamps, the manager of France’s national team, is from Bayonne.
On a day when the sprint trains are anticipated to gather for the first matchup between the Tour’s fast men, the Tour enters France.
The early ascents are unlikely to put much strain on the peloton, but the final ascent, the Cote de Saint-Pee-sur-Nivelle, may provide plenty of motivation for riders like Biniam Girmay, Mads Pedersen, and Alexander Kristoff if the tempo throws off the pure sprinters before the road descends to the finish line.
Biniam Girmay and Mads Pedersen are riders to watch.
Stage four, Dax to Nogaro, is scheduled for Tuesday, July 4th.
Between 1951 and 2006, Dax served as the Tour’s host six times.
The sprinters will have plenty to be thrilled about for the second day in a row.
With the final three kilometers of the stage taking place on the Nogaro motor racing circuit, also known as the Circuit Paul Armagnac, a relatively flat course seems to guarantee a high-speed finish.
Could this be the day when Mark Cavendish breaks Eddy Merckx’s record for most stage victories? The 800 meters straight dash to the finish line should see riders jostling for position and sparks fly.
Riders to keep an eye on: Dylan Groenewegen, Mark Cavendish, Fabio Jakobsen, and Jasper Philipsen
Fiveth stage, Wednesday, July 5: Pau to Laruns, 162.7km
In 2020, Tadej Pogacar won the Tour’s opening stage on a comparable run from Pau to Laruns.
This year’s Tour begins with a trip into the Pyrenees as Pau, a town in the foothills of the mountain range bordering France and Spain, once again serves as the site of La Grande Boucle.
Midway through the run to Laruns, the first hors categorie climb, the 15.2 km Col de Soudet, with an average gradient of 7.2%, comes into view before the race reaches the Col de Marie-Blanque, which ramps up to almost 14% in certain spots.
However, there will almost probably be some early signs of the general classification struggle even though this stage will be remembered as a breakaway possibility.
Matej Mohoric, Dylan Teuns, and Magnus Cort are riders to keep an eye on.
Sixth stage: Tarbes to Cauterets, 144.9 kilometers, on Thursday, July 6.
On the Cambasque plateau, the Tour has only ever halted once before, in 1989, when Miguel Indurain won the stage.
On the first summit finish of this year’s race, the general classification battle will almost surely come into sharper focus.
After the famous Col du Tourmalet, which rises riders 2,115 meters above sea level, there will be some rest on the long descent that follows. However, the final ascent into Cauterets, where double-digit gradients begin, could see attacks light up the race in the final four kilometers.
Riders to keep an eye on: Wout van Aert, Julian Alaphilippe, Tadej Pogacar, Tom Pidcock, and Giulio Ciccone
Stage seven will take place on Friday, July 7 and will cover 169.9 kilometers between Mont-de-Marsan and Bordeaux.
Bordeaux has hosted the Tour 81 times, more than any other French city except for Paris.
For the first time since 2010, the Tour will return to Bordeaux, and a sprint finish is expected. Mark Cavendish was the most recent victor in the center of the renowned wine-growing region.
Could he accomplish the feat again after 13 years? Claim the undisputed stage victory record in the greatest race in cycling, if he hasn’t previously.
Riders to keep an eye on: Wout van Aert, Mark Cavendish, Fabio Jakobsen, Jasper Philipsen,
Eighth stage: Libourne to Limoges, 200.7 kilometers, on Saturday, July 8.
13 Tour victories have taken place at Stage 8 Limoges.
This year’s race has only two transitional stages that are longer than 200 kilometers.
The final 50 kilometers of the course, which begins with reasonably flat terrain, might make for an exciting finish, especially if the competitors who are more accustomed to competing in one-day spring classics go all out for the win.
Mathieu van der Poel, Dylan Van Baarle, Julian Alaphilippe, and Wout van Aert are riders to keep an eye on.
Stage nine is Sunday, July 9 and is 182.4 kilometers from Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat to Puy de Dome.
This stage’s closing kilometers are likely to be off-limits to spectators and team cars.
Before the riders are given a rest day, the Puy de Dome returns to the race for the first time since 1988.
Over the years, the ascent of the dormant volcano has produced some incredible tales, such as an epic confrontation in 1964 between Raymond Poulidor and five-time champion Jacques Anquetil. In 1975, as his chances of winning an unprecedented sixth Tour de France race diminished, it was also the location of Eddy Merckx being punched by a spectator.
A mouthwatering showdown between two-time winner Tadej Pogacar and the rider who ousted him last year, Jonas Vingegaard, is highly awaited as the closing stages of the 13.3 km climb punch up from roughly 7% to more than 12% slopes.
Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar are riders to watch.
Stage 10 of the Vulcania-Issoire race will take place on Tuesday, July 11.
The 1983 Tour de France was the only one to finish in Issoire before that.
A stage with five classified climbs that follows the first rest day appears to be ideal for riders hoping to join the early breakaway.
The uneven terrain won’t be ideal for sprinters, and the riders in the general classification have nothing to gain, so any escapees may benefit from the downhill finish to Issoire.
Riders to keep an eye on: Fred Wright, Omar Fraile, and Magnus Cort
On July 12, stage 11 will cover 179.8 kilometers between Clermont-Ferrand and Moulins.
Remi Cavanga, a rider with Soudal Quick-Step, is from Clermont-Ferrand.
As the Tour moves to Moulins, in the middle of France, for the first time, this should be another stage for the sprinters who are unlikely to be hampered by three moderate categorised climbs.
Riders to keep an eye on: Mark Cavendish, Fabio Jakobsen, Dylan Groenewegen, and
Stage 12 is Roanne to Belleville-en-Beaujolais, covering 168.8 kilometers on Thursday, July 13.
For the first time ever, Stage 12 Belleville-en-Beaujolais serves as the location for a Tour de France stage’s finale.
Stage 12 is not likely to include an enticing general classification battle, despite Roanne being known for having an amazing amount of Michelin-starred chefs, many of whom are inspired by the Troisgros family.
Instead, today ought to be another successful day for the baroudeurs—specialists in breaking away—on the gently rising hills between the Loire and the Rhone. The final few kilometers, which are all downhill, should enable a small group of riders to resist any late attempts by the peloton to get up to them.
Riders to keep an eye on: Fred Wright, Neilson Powless, Mattias Skjelmose, and Neilson Powless
Stage 13 is a 137.8-kilometer race that takes place on Friday, July 14.
The final French rider to triumph on Bastille Day in 2019 was Thibaut Pinot.
On Bastille Day, a short, tough stage awaits as the race crosses the Jura highlands in preparation for a summit finish on the terrifying Grand Colombier.
Egan Bernal, a former champion, lost here in 2020 as Tadej Pogacar won, en route to the first of his two Tour victories.
The Slovenian and the reigning champion Jonas Vingegaard are likely to face off, although Thibaut Pinot, who is in his final season as a professional, and a number of other French riders will try to win over their home audience on the country’s holiday.
Tadej Pogacar, Jonas Vingegaard, David Gaudu, Richard Carapaz, and Thibaut Pinot are riders to keep an eye on.
Stage 14: Annemasse to Morzine is on Saturday, July 15. 137.8 km, Les Portes du Soleil
Ion Izagirre won the last stage into Morzine in 2016
A challenging mountain stage with nearly 4,200 meters of climbing ahead has three category one climbs up the Col de Cou, Col du Feu, and Col de Ramaz. The peloton is unlikely to spend much time admiring the vistas of Lake Geneva at the stage’s beginning.
The high speed and difficult descent to the finish in Morzine may also play a big part in the race for the yellow jersey, although the Col de Joux Plane could see more action.
Tom Pidcock, Simon Yates, Matej Mohoric, and Giulio Ciccone are riders to keep an eye on.
Stage 15: Les Gets les Portes du Soleil – Saint-Gervais is scheduled for Sunday, July 16th. 179 kilometers from Mont-Blanc
The 2015 Criterium du Dauphine was won by Christopher Froome in Saint-Gervais, and he later won the Tour.
Seven years after its previous visit, The Tour returns to the ski resort beneath Mont Blanc, and more drama is expected in the Alps.
A punishing climb to the line where Romain Bardet triumphed in 2016 to move up to second on the overall classification behind Chris Froome begins with two category one climbs and two more minor ones.
Watch out for: Tadej Pogacar, Romain Bardet, Jonas Vingegaard.
Stage 16: Passy to Combloux, 22.4 kilometers, is on Tuesday, July 18.
Combloux is renowned for being a mountain riding stronghold.
The Tour’s sole individual time trial is scarcely one for the discipline’s purists.
The Cote de Domancy, a steep climb that leads to the finish line, makes the course appear to favor climbers and all-arounders who can push a big gear on the valley’s flatter stretches.
Wout van Aert, Tadej Pogacar, Jonas Vingegaard, Daniel Martinez, and Mikkel Bjerg are riders to keep an eye on.
Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc to Courchevel, 165.7 kilometers, is stage 17 on Wednesday, July 19.
Former Courchevel champions Richard Virenque, Marco Pantani, and Alejandro Valverde
The Col de Loze, at an elevation of 2,304 meters, serves as the race’s highest point after more than 5,400 meters of ascent.
The challenging Alpine climb, which features ramps of more than 20% in its most severe stretch, has only been used once before in the Tour, when Miguel Angel Lopez gave Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogacar 15 and 30 seconds, respectively, in 2020.
From there, a constrained path leads the riders to the Courchevel altiport, where they finish on an 18% ramp that is very similar to the crawl to the finish line at Peyragudes on stage 17 from the previous year.
Riders to keep an eye on: Michael Woods, Alexey Lutsenko, Ben O’Connor, Tadej Pogacar, and Jonas Vingegaard
Stage 18’s distance is 184.9 kilometers and takes place on Thursday, July 20.
Bourg-en-Bresse, the hometown of French quadruple Olympic track cycling champion Daniel Morelon, will host the Tour for the sixth time this year.
The sprinters still in the race will use this stage as an opportunity to exhibit their skills after apparently encountering an endless series of mountains.
Riders to keep an eye on: Mark Cavendish, Fabio Jakobsen, Dylan Groenewegen, and
Stage 19, Moirans-en-Montagne to Poligny, is scheduled for Friday, July 20.
2020 saw Soren Kragh Andersen triumph on the adjacent Champagnole stage.
Without attempting any significant climbs, the peloton passes through the Jura Mountains.
The fast men will be handed a significant lead out because the final straight is more than eight kilometers long, barring a breakout that takes advantage of some peloton riders’ fatigue.
Riders to keep an eye on: Mark Cavendish, Dylan Groenewegen, Kasper Asgreen, Matej Mohoric, and Stefan Kung.
Stage 20 is the Belfort to Le Markstein Fellering 133.5km leg on Saturday, July 21.
The stage 20 finish takes inspiration from the Le Tour Femmes grand finale in 2022.
The race sprints across the Vosges to the Le Markstein ski resort on this brief but challenging mountain stage, which crams six classed climbs into around 100km.
While none of the peaks would be considered the most difficult in the race, this is the penultimate chance for those who want the yellow jersey, and the rapid sequence of ascents and descents might provide for an exciting finish.
Egan Bernal, Richard Carapaz, Thibaut Pinot, and Wout van Aert are riders to keep an eye on.
Stage 21 of the Paris Champs-Elysees to Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines race will take place on Sunday, July 22.
Due to the Olympics, the Tour de France will not end in Paris in 2024.
With its customary processional final stage, the Tour comes to a close.
Expect the overall winner and his team to enjoy champagne while riding slowly toward Paris, followed by eight frantic laps around the Champs-Elysees circuit, where Mark Cavendish should be given some time to reflect on his accomplishments during his final Tour de France (should he make it that far), before a chaotic sprint finish on the cobblestones.