The 2022 Tour de France will start outside L’Hexagone, but will finish in its traditional spot along the Champs-Elysées in Paris as it has since 1903. The most important bicycle race in the world begins on Friday, July 1, and after 21 stages Le Tour will end July 24th.
The race will begin in Denmark for the first three days, including an Stage 1 time trial in Copenhagen to award the first maillot jaune (or yellow jersey) of the year. From there two flat stages will also be completed before a transfer day brings the teams into Metropolitan France for the first time.
The traditional clockwise route around the nation begins in Dunkirk and finishes in Calais, which will see the cyclists moving in the opposite direction for at least one day. While the first three stages in France are all defined as “hilly,” that will pale in comparison to Stage 7, the first in the Pyrenees from the commune of Tomblaine to the top of the a ski stadium known as La Super Planche des Belles Filles.
Another day to keep an eye on will be Stage 12, taking place on July 14 which is Bastille Day in France. The usual bleu, blanc et rouge will be everywhere as the French celebrate the overthrow of King Louis XVI, and this year the mountain stage will be particularly challenging; the stage moves from Briançon, the highest-elevation city in France, to the legendary Alpe D’Huez. It will be a grueling 165.5 km (102.8 mi) test with three major climbs.
It is said Le Tour is always decided in the Alps, but the last competitive day will be Stage 20 on July 23, from the tiny town of Lacapelle-Marival to Rocamadour in a mostly-flat 40.7 km (25.3 mi) time trial.
After that we should have our winner, as the final stage the following day on the Champs-Elysées is generally for the domestiques instead of the leaders. A gentlemen’s agreement usually reigns where the leaders agree not to fight for position in Paris.