Saturday, 7 July 2018

Tour de France 2018 starts today

The 21 stages of this year's Tour start today (7th July) and are almost entirely within the French borders; no excursions to neighbouring countries, just a brief spin through Spain during the Pyrenean mountain stages. Local enthousiasts will need to wait until much later in the Tour for a chance to see bikes. Sunday 22nd July is a Millau to Carcassonne stage, then from Tuesday 24th there are 4 mountain stages to end the race, plus a time trial around Espelette.
The Tour planning has been overshadowed by the French football team's exploits in the World Cup (semi-final against Belgium on Tuesday 10th July, 20h) and the potential exclusion of Chris Froome, the defending champion and favourite, but no doubt will have its usual following, especially if French hopeful Romain Bardet can challenge.
For full details of the race go to the Tour's web site (in English as well as French).