le Tour de France, 2019
6th July - 28th July, 2019
for hill-climbers only -
feeling the pinch
The 2019 Tour de France [TDF] is being held almost entirely in the eastern half of France, except for the required excursion into the Pyrenees and the final day trip to Paris. Even more so, much of the Tour will be close to France's eastern frontiers. The race will spurn Brittany, avoid Normandy, ignore the Loire Valley and shun the vast region of Nouvelle Aquitaine.
The organisers reasoning (excuse) is that this year's race is for the hill-climbers, with only four flat stages. However, being host to the start or end of a TDF stage is becoming ever more expensive, and much of France is rural, for the most part relying only on farming and forestry for revenue.
Another money-saving ploy is having stages starting and finishing at the same town, particularly stage 16, Nîmes to Nîmes.
Last year's TDF left a swathe of western and central France unvisited, though the centenary of the end of World War One provided enough finance to allow some stages in départements bordering the Channel. Eighteen months of another president has not improved the malaise embedded into France's economy by Socialist President Hollande.
This avoidance of poorer regions is reminiscent of several Vueltas a Espana, where much of the country was avoided as the country wobbled towards bankruptcy. The worst year was 2012 when Madrid was the most southern town visited. The following years gradually extended the race's reach.
climbing here we come
The 2019 tour will be a race for hill-climbers. Starting with Stage 5, with riders facing climbs in the Vosges mountains and continuing right up to the traditional ride into Paris. The riders will be racing mostly through hill country or mountains every day but stages 7 and 11, while twelve stages send them close to or above 1000 metres altitude. These twelve stages include two days in the Vosges mountains, one in the Monts du Lyonnais, two in the Massif Central, four in the Pyrenees, and three and a half days in the Alps.
Note that the TDF organisers are doing their best to prevent strong teams, in particular the now defunct Team Sky, from easily winning the team prize. Team Sky won six of the past seven Tours de France with better organisation, training, and even equipment. Christian Prudhomme, the race director, even used the race presentation last October to call on UCI president David Lappartient to ban power meters.
a Belgian start
In honour of Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx, multiple Grand Tour winner and world champion, this year's TDF starts in Brussels for two complete days in Belgium and the first of three Belgian starts. This honouring of Merckx on the fiftieth anniversary of the first of his five overall victories, is despite him being caught three times for doping (1969 Giro d'Italia, 1973 Giro di Lombardia, 1977 La Flèche Wallonne), but he is not American.
As part of the celebrations in Belgium, the Royal Belgium Mint has produced a limited edition of 120,000 copies of a special 2.50€ coin, that is being sold for 10€.
And the race will include well-known landmarks, the Royal Palace and the Atomium.
100th year of the yellow jersey (maillot jaune)
On 19 July 1919, Eugene Christophe became the first rider to wear the Yellow Jersey in the history of the Tour de France at Pau. On 19 July 2019, the TDF will again be in Pau for an individual time trial.
The record number of yellow jerseys won is 96, won by Edy Merckx.
Twenty customised 2019 Yellow Jerseys will be awarded, one to the winner of each of the first twenty stages.
2019 tour de france route
There will be:
the stages for 2019
[Note: blue links go to profile section on this page,
There will be 21 stages. These include 5 high mountain stages, 5 medium mountain stages, 3 hilly stages and two against-the-clock (stages 2 and 13) [contre-le-montre] time trials. There are 2 rest days (16th and 22nd July). All other days are 'on the plain' - relatively flat days. The race's distance is be about 3,460 kilometres, or roughly 2,150 miles.
this year’s t-shirts
Again, this year's TDF t-shirts are standard and without imagination, and the prices are still daftly steep. For those with a certain morbid curiosity. this is the TDF online boutique.
the teams for 2019
this year’s top ten riders accordig to betting odds
last year (2018): the first ten riders
mountain stages, uphill and summit finishes
Stage 6, 11th July - Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles
Stage 9, 14th July - Saint-Étienne to Brioud
Stage 12, Thurs. 18 July -Toulouse to Bagnères-de-Bigorre
Stage 14, Sat. 20 July - Tarbes to Col du Tourmalet
Stage 15, Sun. 21st July - Limoux to Foix
Stage 18, Thurs. 25 July - Embrun to Valloire
Stage 19, Fri. 26th July - Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Tignes
Stage 20, Sat. 27 July -Albertville to Val Thorens
watch tdf broadcasts
The Tour de France is being televised throughout the world. The following table lists the broadcasters by country including those providing live broadcasts.
There is no indication whether or not the broadcasts are free to view.
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