The 2020 Tour de France route unveiled in Paris on Tuesday set pulses racing with a host of mouth-watering stages in prospect. Here, we present five stages that will define the race.
The 2020 Tour de France is LIVE on FloBikes for viewers in Canada.
Stage 2: Nice-Nice - 187km
Seeking to emulate the thrill of the 2019 Tour, organizers have lit the fuse of the 2020 route with bonus seconds up for grabs on the penultimate climb and at the finish line. It is hoped someone of the ilk of Julian Alaphilippe will attack from distance and seize both the initiative and the yellow jersey in the low Alps behind Nice, thereby establishing an attacking mindset.
Stage 9: Pau-Laruns - 154km
This second Pyrenean stage is possibly the toughest on the Tour. The stage starts with the Col de la Hourcere, an 11km climb at over nine percent, and is quickly followed by four more categorized climbs and a treacherous, winding descent to the finish line.
Stage 17: Grenoble-Meribel col de la Loze - 168km
This summit that has never figured before culminates with an old ski piste maintenance road converted into a 7km bike track. It has flat sections and 20-percent inclines that would never have featured on a real road. The peak stands at 2300m, where a 360-degree view offers selfie fans the chance of a snap with Mont Blanc in the palm of their hand.
Stage 18: Meribél - La Roche Sur Foron
The back-to-back mountain stages preceding the Tour's time trial will provide a final opportunity for the attackers. The ascent of Plateau de Glieres, with its two-kilometer section of gravel near the summit, first appeared in the Tour in 2018. Eventual KOM winner Julian Alaphalippe went on the attack, but the climb came too far from the finish to prove decisive. In 2020, the gravel road returns, this time as the penultimate climb 30km from the finish in La Roche Sur Foron.
Stage 20: Lure-La Planche des Belles Filles - 36km ITT
Right in French hero Thibaut Pinot's backyard, Tour organizers have placed the only time trial of the event saying they prefer shoulder-to-shoulder racing. The run-up to the hugely popular Planche des Belles Filles in the Jura starts out flat and has a long incline before a final 6km ascent that rounds off the action of the 2020 Tour, making it clearly a decisive moment and which saw champion Egan Bernal's jaw drop in admiration when unveiled.