Tour de France 2023 – Race Preview


15.06.23 at 11:46 am

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It’s that time again. The 110th edition of cycling’s greatest spectacle is just around the corner and today we are going to be taking a deep dive into everything you need to know about this year’s race, including the key stages, main contenders and top sprinters.

Starting on the 1st of July in Bilbao, the 110th edition looks set to be an intriguing one as the route features all five major mountain ranges in France and just one time trial. It’s a race for pure climbers, serving up a mouthwatering duel between the mountain goats throughout the race. Let’s get into it.

Key Stages to watch

Stage 6 – Tarbes – Cauterets – Cambasque – 144.9km – Mountains. 6th July 2023.

This short, but challenging stage takes in four categorised climbs including the Col d’Aspin and the legendary Col du Tourmalet. The stage doesn’t finish on the Tourmalet though. Instead, the peloton faces one last climb to the Cambasque Plateau.


Stage 9 – Saint Léonard de Noblat – Puy de Dôme – 182.4km – Medium Mountains. 9th July 2023.

35 years since the Tour de France last visited, the Puy de Dôme climb returns to the route this year. This stage is on constantly rolling terrain and looks like an energy sapping day. The Puy de Dôme isn’t the highest climb, however it’s gradients are scary. 13.3km at an average of 7.7% including lengthy sections at 12%. There are sure to be significant gaps.

Stage 13 – Châtillon Sur Chalaronne – Grand Colombier – 137.8km – Mountains. 14th July 2023

Another short but spectacular stage awaits in the Jura mountains. A flat start should allow a breakaway to form en-route to the foot of the Grand Colombier, though a GC battle will likely be today’s focus. The final climb is a brute; 17.4km at an average of 7.1%. We’ll get a good mid-race look at the contenders’ respective conditions today.

Stage 16 – Passy – Combloux – 22.4km – ITT. 18th July 2023.

The only time trial of the race looks set to be one that will suit the GC riders. The route takes the riders uphill from the start as a gentle false flat gives way to the Côte de la Cascade de Coeur. The climb is just 1.5km long but with an average gradient of 9.4%, it’s a wall that will test everyone’s legs. It will also be interesting to see who chooses to go for a bike change at the foot of the climb.

Stage 17 – Saint Gervais Mont Blanc – Courchevel – 165.7km – Mountains. 19th July 2023.

There’s no relaxing for the GC men following the TT, as the queen stage of this edition awaits on stage 17. A tough day in the saddle will see the riders take on four categorised climbs before the ascension of the Col de la Loze. This modern giant is over 28km long, with an average gradient of 6%. Following a short descent, the small matter of an 18% ramp up to Courchevel airfield closes the stage.

col de la loze

Stage 20 – Belfort – Le Markstein Fellering – 133.5km – Mountains. 22nd July 2023

At just 133.5km long, the stage is another short one, however this didn’t stop the organisers from including six categorised climbs. The final two climbs of the day should be where the action happens, as the Petit Ballon leads into the Col du Platzerwasel before the finish in Le Markstein Fellering.

Main Contenders

2022 saw Danish climber Jonas Vingegaard upset the established order by taking the first yellow jersey of his career, forcing two-time victor Tadej Pogačar to settle for second place. This edition looks set to be a near carbon copy of this battle as both target the yellow jersey once more.

Jonas Vingegaard

The defending champion comes into this race in sparking form having soared to victory at the Dauphinè. The Dane won the week-long stage race by over two minutes, sending a message to all his rivals. Despite this, when he last faced Tadej Pogačar at Paris – Nice, Vingegaard was comfortably beaten.

Tadej Pogačar

It’s been a sensational season for the Slovenian, even by his impeccable standards. Before picking up a wrist injury at Liège – Bastogne – Liège, Pogačar had taken a staggering 15 individual and classification victories at the time of writing. His overall victory at Paris – Nice laid down a marker to his rivals that in 2023 he doesn’t look like taking any prisoners.


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A post shared by Tadej Pogačar (@tadejpogacar)

David Gaudu

The host nation’s best chance at a podium finish for the past few seasons. Second place at Paris – Nice was a brilliant result, as he beat Jonas Vingegaard and finished less than a minute behind Tadej Pogačar. The lack of TT kilometres is also a major plus point for the Frenchman’s chances of reaching the podium.

Richard Carapaz

Already a Giro d’Italia champion, Carapaz will be aiming for the podium this time around and looks to be picking up form at the right time. Victory at the Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes Maritimes proves he will be a threat in the mountains.

 Enric Mas

The Spaniard’s performance at the Dauphinè left a lot to be desired, however his usual consistency when aiming for the general classification should inspire hope of a good showing over the course of this race.

Ben O’Connor

O’Connor looked sharp in picking up a podium at the Dauphinè recently. He’s another rider that will be buoyed by the lack of TT kilometres.

Other potential contenders

Jai Hindley, Mikel Landa, Guillaume Martin, Andreas Leknessund, Matias Skjelmose, Simon Yates. Egan Bernal, Carlos Rodríguez

The Sprinters

After a few seasons in which the sprinting field has looked somewhat thin on the ground, this year looks set to be a vintage edition for the fast men.

Jasper Philipsen

The Belgian has taken a plethora of impressive victories over the past few seasons and has stated that the green jersey is his main objective for the Tour. In Mathieu van der Poel, he also has a luxury teammate to help in his lead-out train.


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A post shared by Jasper Philipsen (@jasperphilipsen)

Fabio Jakobsen

European champion Fabio Jakobsen will lead Soudal – Quickstep in the sprints for a second consecutive season. Jakobsen did take a stage early in last years’ race but struggled in the mountains.

Mark Cavendish

Before heading to the Giro d’Italia, the Manx Missile was struggling to get to grips with life at Astana Qazakhstan. An impressive victory on the final stage, however, will have boosted his confidence and gives him hope of delivering a 35th stage win at his final Tour de France. If he pulls it off, it will be one of the stories of the race.



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A post shared by Mark Cavendish (@markcavendish)

Wout van Aert

The imperious all-rounder took the green jersey in 2022 but has stated that it won’t be his primary objective this time around. Van Aert has already taken plenty of sprint victories at the Tour and will be a contender whenever he decides to go for it.

Mads Pedersen

Former world champion Mads Pedersen is now able to compete with the best sprinters, proving he can win Grand Tour bunch sprints at the Giro d’Italia. The Dane was targeting the points classification in Italy before a premature withdrawal; I’d be surprised not to see him in the mix for the green jersey.

Other Sprinters

Dylan Groenewegen, Caleb Ewan, Sam Bennett, Bryan Coquard, Alexander Kristoff, Michael Matthews, Peter Sagan, Giacomo Nizzolo.

The Brits

The Tour de France has undeniably become even more fascinating with the inclusion of British riders in recent years. The riders from the U.K have injected a fresh wave of excitement, captivating fans around the world. From the relentless determination of riders like Chris Froome, Tom Pidcock and Geraint Thomas to the exhilarating sprint finishes by Mark Cavendish, British cyclists have consistently delivered unforgettable moments that have elevated the spectacle of the Tour de France

The passionate support from British fans lining the roads, adorned in Union Jacks, further amplifies the electric atmosphere. It certainly makes clear that  the U.K is one of the cycling nations main power houses. This year, we have Mark cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan Team), Fred Wright (Team Bahrain Victorious), Thomas Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) and Simon Yates (Team Jayco–AlUla). Buckle up, we’re in for a treat!


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A post shared by Adam Yates (@adamyates7)


If you’re as excited about the Tour de France as we are and want to watch the race unfold from the ground, don’t forget that Yellow Jersey offer cycle travel insurance and  bicycle insurance policies to cover your trip. If you need any assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0333 003 0046. Alternatively, you can use our live chat feature.

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