It’s one of the biggest sporting events on the planet and is up there with all the great spectacles. Captivating millions around the world every July, what else but the Tour de France? The Grand Depart for this year’s three-week long race is in Dusseldorf, Germany, on Saturday, 1st July, followed by stages in Belgium and Luxembourg before riders cross into south-west France. As always, the finale takes place in Paris, on the iconic Champs-Elysees on Sunday, 23rd July. But who will be presented with the coveted winner’s maillot jaune (yellow jersey) and declared the 2017 race winner?
Chris Froome will be looking to claim his fourth title, but to do so he will have to see off a number of fierce rivals. Expect to see strong challenges from the likes of the Colombian Nairo Quintana (especially on the mountain stages) as well as from Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, and Richie Porte. Another real contender is the Dutch rider, Tom Dumoulin, winner of this year’s Giro d’Italia. Some pundits feel that Team Sky, who have dominated the Tour de France in recent years, are on the wane and that Froome may not have the strength-in-depth support he’ll need to win the 2017 title. Only time will tell!
This year is the 104th edition of the event which comprises 21 stages and includes two rest days. There are no easy stages on the Tour de France, but the race is usually won or lost over a handful of key stages – and 2017 is unlikely to be any different. All five of France’s mountain ranges (Vosges, Jura, Pyrenees, Massif Central and the Alps) are on this year’s race schedule, making for gruelling racing – and gripping viewing!
Key stages to look out for include 202km stage 3, Verviers – Longwy, sure to be a lumpy day in the saddle with lots of short climbs and finishing with a lung-bursting 1.6km ascent with a 5.8% gradient. Stage 5 is 160km and has the first real climb, La Planche des Belles Filles, with an average gradient of 8.4% and a maximum of 14%. Two more epic mountain stages include the 1569 metre Col de Peyresourde in the Pyrenees (stage 12) and the daunting Col du Galibier in the Alps (stage 17).
The podium in Paris is where the yellow jersey for the General Classification (GC) winner is awarded (as well as the green jersey for the overall points winner). The red polka dot jersey is given to the best climber, and the white jersey for the best young rider overall.
We may not be able to get you on the podium, but we do have a number of sporting corporate hospitality packages available for this year’s Tour de France, so if you want to treat your clients to an unforgettable experience, give the Finders Keepers team a call.Get In Touch About Event