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2019 Tour de France route unveiled

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme speaks during a news conference to unveil the itinerary of the 2019 Tour de France race.
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme speaks during a news conference to unveil the itinerary of the 2019 Tour de France race. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

The route for the 2019 Tour de France edition that features a record 30 mountain passes and five summit finishes was unveiled on Thursday. The 2019 Tour kicks off in Brussels on July 6 and ends 3,460km later on the Champs Elysees in Paris on July 28.

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After Belgium, the Tour heads into the hilly Massive Central region, then down to the Pyrenees before culminating with three consecutive days in the Alps between stages 18-20.

“This is the highest Tour in history,” Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said in reference to the record number of climbs in the 106th edition of the race.

“It’s going to be a tough, tough, tough race,” said four-time champion Chris Froome.

Marketed as the Centenary of the introduction of the yellow jersey, in 1919, the 2019 edition “is a way of paying hommage to the yellow jersey,” Prudhomme added.

“Combining that with the ‘Grand Depart’ in Brussels is a wonderful way to honour the man who best represents the image of the yellow jersey, cycling's greatest ever champion, Eddy Merckx,” Prudhomme said.

Although featuring seven mountain and five hilly (or medium mountain) stages, there is also room for seven supposedly flat stages that are best suited to the sprinters.

“We are virtually guaranteed wind on one of those and confident there will be wind on a second one too,” said Prudhomme.

A map of the itinerary of the 2019 Tour de France cycling race.
A map of the itinerary of the 2019 Tour de France cycling race. ASO/Handout via REUTERS
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