July 2-24, 2016

>>> Tour de France route 2016

Chris Froome (Team Sky) will look to defend his hard won Tour de France title in 2016, over three weeks that should suit the British rider.

The mix of plenty of climbing and some time trialling will also favour Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), a rider looking to take some big victories in his final professional racing season.

The early stages in the department of La Manche are a mix of sprints and punchier finishes. However, we won’t have to wait long to see the GC riders come to the fore as stage five ends on a summit.

Any time gains here won’t win anyone the overall by Paris, but significant losses could rule some riders out of contention.

For the rest of the race, any stage with a climb in it looks like a tough day in the saddle. A war of attrition will be fought through the mountains of Spain, Andorra, France and Switzerland, and Froome will need a strong support cast around him if he is to limit his losses to the likes of Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

Stages 13 and 19 are both time trials and are very likely to shake up the general classification. The latter is an uphill effort that will really test who’s got the freshest legs this late in the race.

Yet more mountains towards the end of the race should keep the overall battle lively right up until the finish line in Morzine on stage 20, before the ceremonial spin around and all important sprint finish in Paris on stage 21.

Key info: 2016 Tour route | Start list | TV guide | Contenders | Past winners | Brief history | Jerseys | Brits in the Tours | Stage-by-stage video highlights

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