Tour de France 2019: lots of mountains, tribute to Eddy Merckx and the absence of Chris Froome

The most important cycling competition in the world begins in less than a month, it will be the most mountainous in history and promises great surprises.

The Tour de France will have its 106th edition next July. The competition will take place between days 6 and 28. Cyclists belonging to 22 teams will be pedaling along 3,460 kilometers spread over 21 stages.

This year the race will start in the city of Brussels, Belgium, as a tribute to Eddy Merckx, considered the best cyclist of all time, who 50 years ago had his first victory in the tour.

Merckx was also the cyclist who won more stages (about 34), and who has worn the yellow jersey more times (111). In total, he has won five tour victories.

As part of the tribute, Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, a city in the Brussels metropolitan area where Merckx grew up, named a square with his name on March 28.

After two stages in Belgium, the tour will go to France. Most of the stages will take place in the northeast of the country, as well as in the French Alps and Pyrenees.

The 21 stages of the Tour de France 2019 are distributed as follows: two time trial (one individual and one team), eight stages in flat for sprinters, five hilly stages and six stages of high mountain (of which five end in height).

It should be noted that of the five stages that end in high, three will have goals over 2,000 meters (6,600 ft) in height: the famous Tourmalet (stage 14), Tignes (stage 19) and Val Thorens (stage 20). In total, cyclists will pass through 30 mountain passes throughout the tour, making it the most mountainous in history.

STAGETYPEDATESTART AND FINISHDISTANCE
1 FlatSaturday, july 6, 2019Bruxelles > Brussel194.5 km
2 Team Time-TrialSunday, july 7, 2019Bruxelles Palais Royal > Brussel Atomium27.6 km
3 HillyMonday, july 8, 2019Binche > Épernay215 km
4 FlatTuesday, july 9, 2019Reims > Nancy213.5 km
5 HillyWednesday, july 10, 2019Saint-Dié-des-Vosges > Colmar175.5 km
6 MountainThursday, july 11, 2019Mulhouse > La Planche des Belles Filles160.5 km
7 FlatFriday, july 12, 2019Belfort > Chalon-sur-Saône230 km
8 HillySaturday, july 13, 2019Mâcon > Saint-Étienne200 km
9 HillySunday, july 14, 2019Saint-Étienne > Brioude170.5 km
10 FlatMonday, july 15, 2019Saint-Flour > Albi217.5 km
 Rest DayTuesday, july 16, 2019Albi
11 FlatWednesday, july 17, 2019Albi > Toulouse167 km
12 MountainThursday, july 18, 2019Toulouse > Bagnères-de-Bigorre209.5 km
13 Individual time-trialFriday, july 19, 2019Pau > Pau27.2 km
14 MountainSaturday, july 20, 2019Tarbes > Tourmalet Barèges117.5 km
15 MountainSunday, july 21, 2019Limoux > Foix Prat d’Albis185 km
 Rest DayMonday, july 22, 2019Nîmes
16 FlatTuesday, july 23, 2019Nîmes > Nîmes177 km
17 HillyWednesday, july 24, 2019Pont du Gard > Gap200 km
18 MountainThursday, july 25, 2019Embrun > Valloire208 km
19 MountainFriday, july 26, 2019Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne > Tignes126.5 km
20 MountainSaturday, july 27, 2019Albertville > Val Thorens130 km
21 FlatSunday, july 28, 2019Rambouillet > Paris Champs-Élysées128 km
Tour de France 2019 map

The teams that compete in this edition of the Tour de France are the following:

  • World Teams:  AG2R La Mondiale, Astana Pro Team, Bahrain-Merida Bora-Hansgrohe, CCC Team Deceuninck-Quick Step, Dimension Data, EF Education First Pro Cycling Team, Groupama-FDJ, Jumbo-Visma, Katusha-Alpecin, Lotto Soudal, Mitchelton-Scott, Movistar Team, Team Ineos, Team Sunweb, Trek-Segafredo, UAE Team Emirates.
  • Professional continental teams: Arkéa-Samsic, Cofidis Solutions Crédits, Total Direct Énergie, Wanty-Groupe Gobert.

This edition of the Tour de France promises surprises. The cyclist Chris Froome, one of the favorites suffered several fractures in days past while recognizing stage 4 of the Critérium du Dauphiné, being unable to participate in the tour, which generates hope for other competitors such as Geraint Thomas, Nairo Quintana and Tom Dumoulin.

Tourmalet in Tour de France 2010
Andy Schleck y Alberto contador en el Turmalet, 2010.
Fuente: ASO / Tour de France, Wikipedia. Imágenes: Hilmar Buschow, Filip Bossuyt.
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