The race will start with a 13km individual time trial in Copenhagen before the second stage takes the peloton over the 18km Great Belt Bridge.
“It’s windy 364 days a year here,” Tour director Christian Prudhomme said on Thursday.
Those who clear the three-day opening block in Denmark and the fourth stage through the hills of Flanders must face the fifth stage through the cobbled sections between Lille and Arenberg.
This is when light climbers should suffer from a day that could be marred by accidents and mechanical issues due to the rough terrain that usually favors day race specialists.
“To get through these stages and hope to win the Tour, you will need to be a versatile rider and have a solid team,” said Tour deputy director Thierry Gouvenou.
The first test for the climbers will take place on the seventh stage with the first of five finishes at the top of the Planche des Belles Filles, where this year’s reigning champion Tadej Pogacar effectively won his first title in 2020 by upsetting his compatriot. Slovenian Primoz Roglic in the final time trial.
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Pogacar, who hammered his rivals in the mountains in the last edition, has also proven himself to be a solid classic for a day, having won the Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Giro di Lombardia Monument classics this year and, counting given the nature of the course, it is difficult to see past it for a favorite lap.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment since the end of this year’s Tour,” Pogacar told reporters at the presentation ceremony Thursday.
“I’m looking forward to the race. There’s everything, it’s going to be fun. I don’t know which one is the key. There are a lot of stages where you can lose the lap and stages where you can. earn this. “
The race will reach its climax at the top of the pulmonary ascent of Col du Galibier, at 2,607 meters above sea level, en route to a summit finish at Col du Granon (2,413 meters) after a punitive effort of 11.3 km at an average gradient of 9.3%.
The 12th stage starts from Briançon and ends at the top of the emblematic Alpe d’Huez (13.8 km at 8.1%), taking the same route as the 1986 Tour when the five-time winner Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond have crossed the line hand in hand for a famous one-two.
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The Frenchman had said he would help his La Vie Claire team win the race a year after receiving help from the American in the previous edition.
“Both should be on the tour for this stage next year,” Prudhomme said of the former riders.
After two brutal stages in the Pyrenees, the race will end with a 40 km individual time trial in southwest France and the mainly processional journey to the Champs Elysées in Paris.