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le Tour de France, 2015

4 July - 26 July, 2015

an austerity race

Tour de France route 2015
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TDF current and previous years, as seen by

the elephant in the room
"perpetual movement"
2015 tour de france route
the stages for 2015
this year’s t-shirts
the teams, and team jerseys/colours
this year’s top ten seeded riders
watching tdf broadcasts
last year (2014): the first ten riders
cobbles, mountain stages, uphill and summit finishes

Tour de France route 2015

watching TDF broadcasts

Le Giro 2015

La Vuelta 2015

Tour de France route 2015the elephant in the room

Look at the route, shown on the map to the right, what do you see?

For the sixth time, the Grand Depart is in Belgium, and the first time the Tour has started in Utrecht. It then stages through Belgium and the north of France with short inter-stage hops.
Next there is a flight that jumps over a huge swathe of central France, so the following stage starts in the central Pyrenees after a rest day in Pau.
Then, perhaps commemorating the 40th anniversary of the spotty jersey, the tough, exacting and exciting climbs through the Pyrenees and Alps, and then....
another flight back north to the Ile de France and the triumphant final day, arriving at the Champs-Élysées in France's capital city, Paris.

But, but ... where's the usual travelogue through the diversity of country towns and landscapes of La Belle France?
How many French people will be able to watch, at the roadside, the colourful horde of racing cyclists pass through a nearby town, or bit of countryside, or even past their door this year? (Through how many départements will the race pass?)

Route map for 2012 Vuelta d'EspagneWe would suggest that, as with the 2012 Vuelta d'Espagne, which only visited the northern half of the country because the southern towns could not afford the costs of welcoming the race thanks to the Spanish economic crisis, French municipalities are cutting back on their customary welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth.

It looks as if, burdened by the consequences of the ongoing economic problems in the Euro Zone, and in particular France's weedy growth and increasingly crushing tax regime, central French towns and cities dare not spend more, even if it will attract visitors, publicity and, potentially, revenue.
Or, is the Tour de France organisation itself tightening its belt, reducing the overall distances, and so the costs, of shifting the huge Tour circus every day for three weeks?

Who knows - everyone appears to be ignoring the economic elephant, while admiring a Tour visiting just the northern flat departments and the southern mountainous ones.

"perpetual movement"

This flowery description from the TDF organisers shows the enthusiasm and energy that will make this Tour continue to be the Greatest Show on Earth, despite the comments made above.

The 2015 Tour will be a race of two acts, a flat act and a mountainous one - no kidding, look at the colours marking the stage types on the stages list below. (Note the organisers are describing the race as in three acts - flat north, Alps, and Pyrenees.)

The first act has nine flat or near flat stages - three with sprint finishes (at Zeeland, Amiens and Fougères), one with cobbled sections (stage 4), two uphill finishes (at Huy and Mûr-de-Bretagne), an individual time trial and a tardy team time trial. Plenty of variety here.

The second act has three days switchbacking along the Pyrenees, with two summit finishes; then four transition days traversing the southern border of the Central Massif; followed by four more gruelling stages in the Alps, with three summit finishes.

There are stages that commemorate where heroes were toppled (stage 17, Eddy Merckx by Frenchman Bernard Thevenet in 1975) and heroes crowned (stage 14 where in 1975, 27 year-old Laurent Jalabert (Jaja) won the stage, powering up the Croix-Neuve slope, with its average 10,1 % slope over 3.1 km. Since then, this slope is also called the Montée Laurent Jalabert.)

On the Rodez - Mende stage (stage 14), the peleton pass under the Millau Viaduc, the longest and highest in France, in Europe and, until fairly recently, the world.

The race's penultimate day has 13.8 km at 8.1% up Alpe d'Huez, with its famous 21 hairpin bends. There's previously been a mountain finish on the penultimate day of the Tour in 2009 at Mont Ventoux and in 2013 at Annecy-Semnoz.

The last day's 107 km ride will take in historic landmarks of Paris, before the sprinters' climax on the Champs-Élysées .

2015 tour de france route

TDF route map, 2013

From Saturday 5 July to Sunday 26 July, 2013, the 102th Tour de France will be competed during 21 stages, over a distance of 3,344 kilometres.

There will be:

  • 9 flat stages
  • 3 hilly stages
  • 7 mountain stages with 5 summit finishes
  • 1 individual time trial stage
  • 1 team time trial stage
  • 2 rest days

There are 6 towns not previously visited:

  • Utrecht (1st stage and start of 2nd stage)
  • Zeeland (arrival 2nd stage)
  • Livarot (start 7th stage)
  • La Pierre-Saint-Martin (arrival 10th stage)
  • Muret (start 13th stage)
  • Sèvres - Grand Paris Seine Ouest (start 21st stage)

points are back!

There will be a new points system on the 9 flat stages to add value to the stage wins, and encourage more competition earlier on in the race.

The points awarded will be 50, 30, 20, 18, ​​16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 ​​points for the first 15 riders to finish.
(The previous points awards were 45, 35, 30, 26, 22, 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 points for the first 15 riders.)

Le Grand Départ2015 - Utrecht

the stages for 2015

There will be 21 stages. These include 7 high mountain stages [ Alps 4, Pyrenees 3], 3 medium mountain/hilly stages, but only one individual against-the-clock (stage20) [contre-le-montre] time trial. There are 2 rest days (13th and 21th July). All other days are 'on the plain' - relatively flat days, almost touring through some of France. The total distance ridden will be about 3,344 kilometres, or roughly 2078 miles.

1 Netherlands : Utrecht – Utrecht
4 July [13.7 km]
individual time-trial
12 Lannemazen – Plateau de Beille
16 July [195 km]
summit finish
2 Netherlands : Utrecht – Neeltje Jans, Zeeland
5 July [168 km]
13 Muret – Rodez
17 July [200 km]
3 Belgium : Anvers – Huy
9 July [191 km]
uphill finish

Rodez – Mende
18 July [178 km]

4 Belgium : Seriang – France : Cambrai
7 July [221 km]
7 cobbled sections
15 Mende – Valence
19 July [182 km]
5 Arras / Amiens Métropole
8 July [189 km]
16 Bourg-de-Péage – Gap
20 July [201 km]
6 Amiens – Le Havre
9 July [191 km]

rest day - Gap/Digne-les-Bains
21 July

7 Livarot – Fougères
10 July [190 km]
17 Digne-les-Bains – Pra-Loup (via the Col des Champs)
22 July [161 km]
summit finish
8 Rennes – Mûr-de-Bretagne
11 July [179 km]
uphill finish
18 Gap – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne
23 July [185 km]
9 Vannes – Plumelec
12 July [28km]
team time-trial
19 Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne – La Toussuire
24 July [138 km]
summit finish
R rest day - Pau
13 July
20 Modane – L’Alpe d’Huez
25 July [110 km]
summit finish
10 Tarbes – La Pierre Saint-Martin
14 July [167 km]
summit finish

Final stage to Paris Champs-Élysées
26 July [107 km]

11 Pau / Cauterets - Vallée de Saint-Savin
15 July [188 km]

this year’s t-shirts

This year, as well as the usual TDF logo t-shirts, you can choose from t-shirts for men, in manly summer grunge:

TDF t-shirt affiche TDF t-shirt affiche
Paris motif t- shirt : 20€ Grand départ t-shirt : 25€

or for women - a bit more jolly!

Ladies TDF t-shirt Ladies TDF t-shirt Ladies TDF t-shirt
ladies' t-shirt : 20€ ladies' t-shirt : 22€ ladies' t-shirt : 20€

the teams for 2015

As well as the seventeen “ProTeams”, invitations have been extended to five 'wildcat' teams:
Bora-Argon 18
Bretagne-Séché Environnement (Fra)
Cofidis (Fra)
Team Europcar (Fra)
MTN-Qhubeka (SA)

Orica-GreenEDGE (GEC)

Etixx - Quickstep (EQS)
Lotto Soudal (LST)

AG2R La Mondiale (ALM)
Bretagne-Séché Environnement (BSE)
Cofidis, solutions crédits (COF)
Team Europcar (EUC)

Bora-Argon 18 (BOA)
Team Giant-Alpicin (TGA)

Team Sky (SKY)

Lampre-Merida (LAM)

Astana Pro Team (AST)

Lotto NL-Jumbo (TLJ)

Katusha Team (KAT)
Tinkoff Saxo (TCS)

Moviestar Team (MOV)

MTN-Qhubeka (MTN)

IAM Cycling (IAM)

Team Cannondale Garmin (TCG)
BMC Racing Team (BMC)
Trek Factory Racing (TFR)

team jerseys/colours

2015 TDF team jerseys

this year’s top ten seeded riders

  Name UCI Team Code Nat. Comments
1 Chris FROOME SKY GBR 30 y.o. Winner of this year's Critérium du Dauphiné, winner 2013 TDF, 2nd in 2012 TDF, bronze medal in 2012 Olympics time trial, 4th in 2012 Vuelta.
Strong climber and time-trialer, not as good tactically as Contador.
1 Alberto CONTADOR TST ESP 32 y.o.Winner of 8 Grand Tour titles. Stripped of 2010 TDF and 2011 Giro titles for doping.
Strong climber, but weaker at time trials.
3 Vincenzo NIBALI AST ITA 30 y.o. "The shark from the strait" - "le requin du détroit"
Winner of 2014 TDF, 2013 Giro d'Italia.
4 Nairo QUINTANA MOV COL 25 y.o.Winner 2014 Giro and best young rider (White Jersey).
5 Thibaut PINOT FDJ FRA 25 young rider, 2013 TDF and 2014 TDF (White Jersey).
6 Tejay VAN GARDEREN BMC USA 26 y.o. fifth overall and best young rider (White Jersey 2012 TDF, fifth overall in 2013 TDF, winner 2014 World Team Time Trial Championships and USA Pro Cycling Challenge
7 Romain BARDET ALM FRA 25 y.o. 15th in 2013 TDF, his first TDF; 6th in 2014 TDF.
8 Bauke MOLLEMA TFR NED 28 y.o. 6th in 2013 TDF, 10th in 2014 TDF.

26 y.o. Known as the "pitt-bull" for his tenacity.
1st in 2014 Critérium du Dauphiné in a breakaway, beating Chris Froome into 12th place. 10th in 2013 TDF, his first appearnace.

10 Michal KWIATKOWSKI EQS POL 25 y.o. Current UCI Road Race World Champion, 2013 World Team Time Trial Champion

Astana, with Nibali as leader and funded by Kazakhstan oil revenues, also have two riders, Aru and Landa, who could easily lead a strong teams of their own, having come second and third in this year's Giro. This make the Astana team so strong that they could even dream of coming first, second and third in this year's TDF.

watch tdf broadcasts

Here are a few of the more reputable sites that were available for the 2014 TDF.

terrestrial broadcasts

UK: ITV and ITV4 full schedule of live broadcasts.

EUROSPORT UK schedule for daily live TV coverage, including HD, often with some commentary.

FRANCE 2/FRANCE 3 (shared coverage) .

Canada: Sportsnet live feed.

USA: NBS Sports offers live on TV, as well as live streaming.

Australia: from SBS.


live streaming through the Internet

There are many such providers that can be found by googling.

These sites may require signing up and payment. Some also need exploring to find the correct page/s.

Nowadays, mobile app.s are also available.

Free live streaming video
in English 1, in English 2
in Spanish


Eurosport is selling live steaming with their Eurosportplayer [in French], with various, almost reasonable subscriptions.

Marker at

The Tour de France web site is providing a live, animated tickertape of the race action as it happens.

Marker at

The TDF web site also has a YouTube channel with videos of stages to come and other short videos.

last year (2014): the first ten riders

Pos. Name First name Team Nat. Time diff.
1 41 NIBALI Vincenzo AST ITA 85h 29' 33''
2 127 PINOT Thibaut FDJ FRA + 07' 10''
3 81 PÉRAUD Jean-Christophe ALM FRA + 07' 23''
4 11 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alberto MOV ESP + 07' 25''
5 82 BARDET Romain ALM FRA + 09' 27''
6 141 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC USA + 11' 34''
7 61 MOLLEMA Bauke LTB NED + 13' 56''
8 67 TEN DAM Laurens LTB NED + 14' 15''
9 201 KONIG Leopold TNE CZE + 14' 37''
10 178 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE Haimar TFR ESP + 16' 25''
NIBALI Vincenzo 41 AST ITA 85h 29' 33''
(Yellow Jersey)
By points SAGAN Peter 51 CAN SVK 417 pts
(Green Jersey)


34 TST POL 147 pts
(Polka dot Jersey)
Under 25

PINOT Thibaut

127 FDJ FRA 85h 36' 43'''
(White Jersey)


98 GRS NED 88h 12' 31''
Team winner


FRA 256h 52' 21''

Tour de France route 2014

Tour de France 2022

New translation, the Magna Carta

cobbles, mountain stages, uphill and summit finishes

Stage 3, 6th July - Belgium : Anvers > Huy

This stage ends with the classic Mur de Huy climb :

Last kilometre  for Stage 3, 7th July- Belgium : Anvers > Huy
Last kilometre for Stage 3, 7th July- Belgium : Anvers > Huy

Stage 4, 7th July - Belgium : Seriang > France : Cambrai

The cobbled sections - secteurs pavées :

Cobbled sections for Stage 4, 12th July- Belgium : Seriang > France : Cambrai
Cobbled sections for Stage 4, 7th July- Belgium : Seriang > France : Cambrai

Stage 8, 11th July - Rennes > Mûr-de-Bretagne

This stage finishes witht the harsh Mûr de Bretagne climb :

Profile for Stage 8, 11th July - Rennes > Mûr-de-Bretagne
Profile for Stage 8, 11th July - Rennes > Mûr-de-Bretagne

Stage 10, 14th July - Tarbes > La Pierre Saint-Martin

Fot the first time on the Tour de France, a final climb with a maximum gradient of 15% rising over 25km.

Profile for Stage 10, 12th July-Tarbes > La Pierre Saint-Martin
Profile for Stage 10, 14th July-Tarbes > La Pierre Saint-Martin

Stage 11, 15th July - Pau > Cauterets

Three mountain climbs up Aspin, Tourmalet and Cauterets.

Profile for Stage 11, 15th July-Pau > Cauterets
Profile for Stage 11, 15th July-Pau > Cauterets

Stage 12, 16th July - Lannemezan > La Pierre Saint-Martin

Four peaks, ending with a 15.8km climb climb, rising almost 1,800m to the Plateau de Beille. This stage passes Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges, the cathedral of the Pyrenees.

Profile for Stage 10, 12th July-Tarbes > La Pierre Saint-Martin
Profile for Stage 12, Lannemezan > La Pierre Saint-Martin

Stage 17, 22nd July- Digne-les-bains > Pra-loup

With some real mountain passes, this arduous day ends with the climb where Eddy Merckx, five timse winner of both the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia and three times World Champion, in effect lost the 1975 Tour de France.

Profile forStage 17, 22nd July- Digne-les-bains > Pra-loup
Profile for Stage 17, 22nd July- Digne-les-bains > Pra-loup

Stage 18, 23rd July - Gap > Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne

Four categorised climbs on this mountain stage.

Profile for Stage 10, 12th July-Tarbes > La Pierre Saint-Martin
Profile for Stage 18, 23rd July - Gap > Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne

Stage 19, 24th July - Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne > La Toussuire

Four mountain peaks ending on La Toussuire, where Chris Froome made an attack on Bradley Wiggins in 2012

Stage 19, 24th July- Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne > La Toussuire
Profile for Stage 19, 24th July - Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne > La Toussuire

Stage 20, 25th July - Modane > Alp-d'Huez

At 110 km, this is a relatively short stage, finishing with 1,130 m ascent over 15 km up the Alpe-de-Huez.

Stage 20, 25th July - Modane > Alp-d'Huez
Profile for Stage 20, 25th July- Modane > Alp-d'Huez

end notes

  1. Pau is known as the doper's trap for the numbers of successful raids and tests on doping riders over the years.

  2. MUR and MÛR (wall and mature)
    Two uphill finishes will spice up the first week of racing. First, the Mur de Huy (1.3 km at 9.6%), ending the 3rd stage at La Flèche Wallonne. Then the Mûr de Bretagne (2 km at 6.9% with passages at 15%), nicknamed the Alpe d'Huez of Brittany and previously in the 2011 Tour, will finish the eighth stage.

  3. International Cycling Union (UCI) regulations require that, for a team to finish a team time trial, five team members must complete the stage. The regulations also requires the team time trial take place in the first third of the race. The TDF organisers had to seek a waiver from the UCI to include this stage after eight days of racing, with the risk that teams may be weakened by injuries and retirements.

    "Over a short distance, starting out with seven riders is not necessarily a handicap," said race director Thierry Gouvenou. According to him, the stage being only 28 km long should reduce the potential problem of large gaps between riders occuring. Stage 9, between Vannes and Plumelec, will finish at the top of Cadoudal hill.

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