It’s that time of year again! The Tour de France has your eyes glued to the TV and you barely have a moment free to hop on a bike! Will you be following every single second or would you rather do a bit of touring yourself? If the latter, then read on for our recommendations as we provide a summary of the most interesting stages Tour de France 2022 you simply must see.
Saturday 2 July. Stage 2: Roskilde-Nyborg – Wishing for wild wind
With the Tour starting in his home country, Soren Kragh Andersen was highly motivated to take part, but unfortunately he wasn’t picked by his team DSM. Despite this, he’s enthusiastic about the course all the same. “I’m hoping for wind and rain on Saturday,” says the Dane. “If it’s windy then the sparks will really fly, especially on the 18km long bridge that the competitors must cross. If it’s typical Danish weather, then we’re truly in for some fireworks!”
Our tip: check the weather forecast. If it’s beautiful summer weather, then go for a ride yourself and get back in time for the bunch sprint.
Tuesday 5 July. Stage 4: Dunkirk-Calais – The classic
One seaside resort to another, that’ll be totally flat, right? Wrong! Anyone who’s completed the Four Days of Dunkirk knows that the coastline here goes up and down. Add a bit of wind and it’s on! The terrain will make for a fascinating course with the classic riders leading from the front, including Mathieu van der Poel of course. 11 kilometres before reaching the end, the riders will come face to face with the gruelling Cap Blanc-Nez (1.1 km at 6.5%).
Our tip: don’t miss the last 20 kilometres.
Wednesday 6 July. Stage 5: Lille-Arenberg – Clattering over the cobblestones
It’s a busy time for cycling fans and stage 5 is another one that’s not to be missed. The riders will complete a mini Paris-Roubaix, although with ten cobbled sections, it’s hard to call it ‘mini’! After 70 kilometres, the riders hit the first section and the war begins. In the final 50 kilometres, the cobbled sections come thick and fast, with one punishing section relentlessly following the other. It’s a pitched battle between the true specialists and the classification riders as they breathlessly struggle to stay in the slipstream.
Our tip: don’t make any plans in the afternoon!
Friday 8 July. Stage 7: Tomblaine-Planche des Belles Filles – First climb of the Tour
In the first week, the spectators will have to be as on top of their game as the riders as it’s a real treat for all cycling fans. Be sure to catch the previous day’s stage too, as the finale starts to get steep. Today’s ride is another must-see: it’s the first stage for the climbers, who will go over three of the Vosges -including the spectacular Planche des Belles Filles- and finish with a real gravel grinder. It’s the first true battle between the climbers and the classification riders.
Our tip: a closed course with the potential for a battle on two fronts. The final 15 kilometres are not to be missed!
Wednesday 11 July. Stage 11: Albertville-Col du Granon – Thank you Bernard Hinault!
The weekend is all about the mountain stages, but of course, you’re looking to do some cycling yourself! So don’t worry, we’ll let you know the perfect time to go for a ride. Whatever you do, make sure you watch stage 11. It ends on the Granon, a climb that is rarely included on the Tour and guarantees fireworks! It’s particularly famous for the battle between Bernard Hinault and Greg Lemond in 1986, who were fighting for dominance both on the Tour and within their own team. This was also the last time that the Col du Granon was included in the course. During this stage, the riders will cross the Lacets de Montvernier -a climb that is more spectacular than challenging- as well as the Galibier.
Our tip: get the drinks ready and train your sitting muscles – this stage will be a treat for the eyes!
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Thursday 12 July. Stage 12: Briançon-Alpe d’Huez – For fans of La Marmotte
It’s a double-shift for armchair racers, as today’s stage is also a must-see. After taking a break from the Tour for couple of years, L’Alpe is back with a vengeance. The approach will also be fascinating as we go back over the Galibier before climbing the Croix de Fer: familiar territory for the many cyclists who’ve completed La Marmotte.
Our tip: if you want to see them cycle through your favourite location, then be sure to tune in! However, two days in a row is a lot, so be sure to pace yourself!
Saturday 16 July. Stage 14: Saint-Etienne-Mende – Don’t miss the final climb to the airport!
True Tour fans know to be selective in their viewing habits in order to prevent fatigue. Not that we’re advising that you skip any of the stages, as so far there really is something to see every day. After leaving Denmark, there won’t have been a single race where you’d expect a bunch sprint, and today is no different as the approach is too hilly. However, be sure to tune in when the riders are 5km from the end, as this will be a real treat. The climb to the finish line at Mende Airport will be absolutely decisive.
Our tip: be selective to prevent burnout, but be sure to catch the final climb.
Wednesday 20 July. Stage 17: Saint-Gaudens-Peyragudes – Short but spectacular
Stage 17 is a real treat for selective Tour fans. At ‘just’ 130 kilometres, it’s a short, sweet and spectacular stage through the Pyrenees with four climbs: Aspin, Hourquette d’Ancizan, Val Louron-Azat and Peyragudes. In short, all the ingredients for a truly gripping show.
Our tip: stay off your bike until the evening!
Thursday 21 July. Stage 18: Lourdes-Hautacam – An à la carte menu for Tour fans
The excitement keeps on coming with one fantastic race after another. This mountain stage is also relatively short, which means fireworks are guaranteed! The course is less closed, as this stage is one that favours the attackers. The route goes over the Aubisque and the Spandelles before finishing in Hautacam. It’s a true stages Tour de France 2022 mountain with an illustrious history.
Our tip: pick your moments carefully, as you can’t be everywhere.
Saturday 23 July. Stage 20: Lacapelle-Rocamadour – Time trials
Time trials aren’t really our thing as there’s very little to see. Ultimately, the strongest cyclist wins, and what’s the point watching riders on their own? Nevertheless, this is the final stage of a huge race and the cyclists’ last chance to turn the classification on its head. Who knows what could happen?
Our tip: check the standings. Is anything left to play for? If so, tune in. If not, hop on your bike and watch the highlights later.
Sunday 24 July. Stage 21: Paris – Prime time sprinting
The stage leading into the heart of Paris is the dullest of them all. Nothing happens along the way and it always ends in a sprint. However, you can’t not watch. It’ll help you come down from your Tour high, it’s nice to see the race through to the end, and the champagne and celebrations are always fun to watch. Ultimately, it’s the cyclists’ World Cup, and you simply can’t miss the end.
Our tip: spend the whole day on your bike and then watch the stages Tour de France 2022 draw to a close in the evening.