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Updated: Tour de France 2015 route - little time trialling, but bonus seconds are back (+ flythrough video)

Route unveiled in Paris today includes cobbled stage plus Alpe d'Huez crowning tough final week in Alps...

The route of the 2015 Tour de France has been unveiled in Paris this morning, and it looks like being a tough edition of the race, with summit finishes including the Alpe d’Huez on the final day, but just one short individual time trial, and a stage featuring pave sections for the second year running. Meanwhile, bonus seconds are back, and the points competition has also been overhauled.

Those changes to the points competition will benefit the winners of sprint stages, and all stages other than those against the clock will see bonus seconds awarded of 10, 6 and 4 seconds respectively for the first three men across the line.

Before a star studded audience in the Palais des Congrès in the French capital including current champion Vincenzo Nibali, race director Christian Prudhomme confirmed the final day in Paris will see the peloton race round the back of the Arc de Triomphe for the third year running, and the race’s last stage will be preceded by La Course, the women’s race which made its debut this year.

The presentation of the route, which had been accurately predicted yet again by Thomas Vergouwen of the Velowire website, was accompanied by this flythrough video.

The race starts on 4 July in the Netherlands, with an individual time trial – at 13.7km, well beyond the 8km distance that would see it classified in as a Prologue – in Utrecht. That is the only individual stage against the clock, though there is a team time trial later in the race.

It’s a flat, if technical course that will see the first yellow jersey of the race go to a time trial specialist, and the race recommences the next day in the same city with a road stage that takes it along the North Sea coast – beware of echelons – to Neeltje Jans.

Stage 3 begins in Antwerp and ends in Huy, making for a tough uphill finish. The race then crosses the northern French landscape, including the Somme, scarred by the First World War which will be commemorated during the race, with stage finishes in Cambrai, Amiens and Le Havre.

The Yorkshire Grand Depart will be a year-old memory by the time next year’s race starts, but one thing is clear – the first week or so of the race will be within easy striking distance of the Channel ports.

The race then heads into Britanny, with stages ending in Fougères and on the Mûr-de-Bretagne, which hosted a pulsating uphill finish in 2011, won by eventual champion Cadel Evans, followed by the individual time trial to and Plumelec.

The first rest day is in Pau, the city in the shadow of the Pyrenees and is where Alberto Contador claims to have eaten that infamous steak, and where it was revealed Fränk Schleck had failed a doping control. At least it’s the first rest day this time round.

Pau is one of the Tour’s regular gateways to or from the Pyrenees, and with the Alps featuring earlier last year, it’s natural that this time round the race should take the anti-clockwise route around what the French call ‘l’Hexagone.’

Stage finishes in a segment of the race that kicks off on Bastille Day include the ski station of La Pierre Saint-Martin, never used before in, Vallee de Saint-Savin, and the Plateau de Beille, which has already forged its place in Tour history.

Next comes the transition towards the Alps, where there will be a summit finish on the penultimate day of the race on Alpe d’Huez – preceded by a stage finish in Gap, with earlier finishes including Rodez, the Montée Laurent Jalabert in Mende and Valence.

The Alpe d’Huez stage finish will come after ones at Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and La Toussuire in a tough final week in theAlps that will decide the race, and will be followed by the traditional final day stage into Paris, staring in Sèvres.

2015 Tour de France route

Stage 1
Saturday, July 4
Utrecht - 14km individual time trial

Stage 2
Sunday, July 5
Utrecht to Zelande - 166km

Stage 3
Monday, July 6
Antwerp to Huy - 154km

Stage 4
Tuesday, July 7
Seraing to Cambrai - 221km

Stage 5
Wednesday, July 8
Arras to Amiens - 189km

Stage 6
Thursday, July 9
Abbeville to Le Havre - 191km

Stage 7
Friday, July 10
Livarot to Fougeres - 190km

Stage 8
Saturday, July 11
Rennes to Mur de Bretagne - 179km

Stage 9
Sunday, July 12
Vannes to Plumelec - 28km team time trial

Monday, July 13 - first rest day

Stage 10
Tuesday, July 14
Tarbes to La Pierre Saint-Martin - 167km

Stage 11
Wednesday, July 15
Pau to Cauterets-Vallee de Saint-Savin - 188km

Stage 12
Thursday, July 16
Lannemezan to Plateau de Beille - 195km

Stage 13
Friday, July 17
Muret to Rodez - 200km

Stage 14
Saturday, July 18
Rodez to Mende - 178km

Stage 15
Sunday, July 19
Mende to Valance - 182km

Stage 16
Monday, July 20
Bourg de Peage to Gap - 201km 

Tuesday, July 21 – second rest day

Stage 17
Wednesday, July 22
Digne-les-Bains to Pra-Loup - 161km

Stage 18
Thursday, July 23
Gap to Saint-Jean de Maurienne - 185km

Stage 19
Friday, July 24
Saint-Jean de Maurienne to La Toussuire-Les Sybelles - 138km

Stage 20
Saturday, July 25
Modane Valfrejus to Alpe d'Huez - 110km

Stage 21
Sunday, July 26
Sevres to Paris - 107km

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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matthewn5 | 9 years ago

The other half and I have booked a hotel in Amiens and near Abbeville for those two sectors. Last year was her first and she really enjoyed it.

steviewevie | 9 years ago

Thank goodness for the return of the time bonuses.

"the Alpe d’Huez on the final day", umm, penultimate day, surely?

Leviathan | 9 years ago

Boo, Bonus points, down with them.
I've appreciated the lack of bonuses on the Tour over the last decade. It makes it a purer race. It suits the spikey finishes of the Vuelta but not the long alpine climbs of the Tour. Why go head to head on a long climb when you can defend and then just out sprint your rival to grap seconds. There is no need to make the Tour just like the others.

andyp | 9 years ago

Sounds great. Always been a fan of the bonus seconds.

La Toussuire huh? better watch those earpieces, lads.

Simmo72 | 9 years ago

mixed views on the lack of a decent time trial stage and bonus seconds. On one hand it adds pressure to finish in the top 3, crucial on the mountain stages, but on the other its dilutes the meaning of the person with the lowest time leading the race. I guess overall its good to mix things up and its not like the vuelta in recent years could be considered dull.

Chris James replied to Simmo72 | 9 years ago
Simmo72 wrote:

its not like the vuelta in recent years could be considered dull.

I know I seem to be on my own thinking this, but I have found recent editions of the Vuelta tedious. The race is completely unbalanced in favour of a handful of riders - coincidentally Spanish  3 - battling out mountain top finishes in the same order, for the same bonus seconds, day in day out. I've found the first couple of mountain stages exciting, but then have become bored as the same pattern settles in.

In fact I have struggled to be bothered to actually finish watching the Vuelta the last few years as the Tour of Britain has overlapped with it, and I have ended up watching the ToB instead for some variety!

This is a long winded way of saying that I am disappointed the 2015 tour route doesn't have more time trialling in it.

Simmo72 replied to Chris James | 9 years ago
Chris James wrote:

I know I seem to be on my own thinking this, but I have found recent editions of the Vuelta tedious.

Each to their own, but for m the Vuelta in the past has been much more of a Spanish affair with a lot of unfair and dirty tactics, plus lots of dull stages. The last 4 years has seen an injection of life into this dying race and -this can't be said for the tour in most recent years-there have been several contendors hammering the hell out of each other on some amazing climbs, the winner often unclear until the closing days, albeit Alberto had it pretty sown up this year. If this isn't exciting stage racing, I don't know what is. I don't think its biased towards the Spanish, its just there are some very good Spanish gc riders who can climb well and are obviously targeting their national tour.

They should move the worlds back to before the Vuelta, that way we'll have less foreign riders dropping out after 14 stages.

chokofingrz | 9 years ago


Edgeley | 9 years ago

When was the last time the race went anti-clockwise?

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