It is one of the most gruelling of all sports events, but it is that fact which makes winning it so special. The Tour de France will start in July putting the world’s best cyclists to the test.
Around 150 riders across 20 or more teams will be competing in the event to try and win one of the several classifications available to be won.
Of course, it is the Overall Classification that most riders are focused on for the winner of the race. However, there are Points, Team, Young Rider and Mountain Classification prizes also up for grabs.
So how did one of the most testing and exciting sports events of the year come into being?
And who will win this year’s race?
Let’s take a look and see if we can find out the answer to both those questions.
Betting Options for Le Tour
But first, if you fancy a bet on any aspect of the tour, or the entire race itself, then check out the wide range of markets available at bet365 Sport.
From betting on who will win Stage 1, to picking any rider to win 2, 3 or 5 or more stages, to crowning the King of the Mountains or the winner of Le Tour outright, bet365 has a mass of betting options for you.
With teams making their final preparations for the start of the race in Spain on Saturday, it is going to be a busy few days for the teams.
And yet, it was a very different race when it was first held back in 1903.
The Tour De France – Did You Know?
- The first Tour de France was held in 1903 and was originally intended to be merely a promotional event organised by the L’Auto newspaper.
- The first race was won by Maurice Garin and featured a field of almost exclusively French cyclists.
- There have been 109 previous Tour De France races contested.
- Traditionally, all or the majority of the race is contested in July.
- The Race Director currently is Christian Prudhomme, and the race is organised each year by the Amaury Sport Organisation.
- There is not one set Tour de France course. Every year, the course changes to visit different parts of France over each stage. While some parts of a course are reused frequently, the race can be contested all over France and will visit different parts of the country in successive races.
- Furthermore, the start of the Tour de France, The Grand Departes, has traditionally been held in a country other than France regularly over the past three decades or so. This year the race starts in Spain before moving into France in the middle of Stage 3. Some years have also seen middle stages raced in other countries too.
- The different stages of the race are rated as Flat, Hilly, Mountain and Time Trial. Usually, there are a good mix of types of stage in each race. For example in 2023, there are 8 Flat Stages, 8 Mountain Stages (four with a summit finish), 4 Hilly Stages and one Time Trial.
- The final stage of Le Tour traditionally finishes on the Champs Elysees in Paris. Usually, this final stage is largely a ceremonial stage with riders not challenging the overall leader.
- British ace Mark Cavendish holds the record for most individual stage wins in Le Tour alongside legendary Belgian rider Eddie Merckx. Both have 34 stage wins in their careers. Bernard Hinault lies third with 28 stage wins.
- Merckx and Hinault are two of the four riders to each have won a record five Tour de France races. The others being Jacques Anquetil and Miguel Indurain.
- Lance Armstrong’s seven consecutive wins from 1999 onwards have been expunged from the record books after the American’s confession that he was doping in these races. Le Tour organisers have chosen not to name a winner for any of the races won by Armstrong.
- The top British rider in Le Tour history is Chris Froome who has won the event four times. Only two other British cyclists, Geraint Williams and Bradley Wiggins have won the race once each. Ireland have had one winner in Stephen Roche.
- The current champion of the race is Jonas Vindegaard of Denmark who won in 2022.
All of which brings us nearly up to date for the 2023 race.
The Tour de France 2023 – Stages & Rest Days
Outlined below are all 21 stages of the Tour de France in 2023 listing where each stage will start and finish, how long the stage is and what type of stage (Hilly, Flat, Mountain or Time Trial) it is.
- Stage 1 – July 1st – Bilbao (Esp) to Bilbao (Esp) (182km) – Hilly
- Stage 2 – July 2nd – Vitoria-Gasteiz (Esp) to San Sebastien (Esp) (209km) – Hilly
- Stage 3 – July 3rd – Amorebieta-Etxano (Esp) to Bayonne (Fra) (193.5km) – Flat
- Stage 4 – July 4th – Dax (Fra) to Nogaro (Fra) (182km) – Flat
- Stage 5 – July 5th – Pau (Fra) to Laruns (Fra) (163km) – Mountains
- Stage 6 – July 6th – Tarbes (Fra) to Cauterets-Cambasque (145km) – Mountains (summit finish)
- Stage 7 – July 7th – Mont-De-Marsan (Fra) to Bordeaux (170km) – Flat
- Stage 8 – July 8th – Libourne (Fra) to Limoges (Fra) (201km) – Hilly
- Stage 9 – July 9th – Saint-Leonard-De-Noblat (Fra) to Puy De Dome (Fra) (182.5km) – Mountains (summit finish)
- Day 10 – July 10th – Rest Day
- Stage 10 – July 11th – Vulcania (Fra) to Issoire (Fra) (167.5km) – Hilly
- Stage 11 – July 12th – Clermont-Ferrand (Fra) to Moulins (Fra) (180km) – Flat
- Stage 12 – July 13th – Roanne (Fra) to Bellville-en-Beaujolais (Fra) (169km) – Hilly
- Stage 13 – July 14th – Chatillon-Sur-Chalaronne (Fra) to Grand Colombier (Fra) (138km) – Mountains (summit finish)
- Stage 14 – July 15th – Annemasse (Fra) to Morzine Les Portes Du Soleil (Fra) (152km) – Mountains
- Stage 15 – July 16th – Les Gets Les Portes Du Soleil to Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc (179km) – Mountains (summit finish)
- Day 16 – July 17th – Rest Day
- Stage 16 – July 18th – Passy (Fra) to Combloux (Fra) (22.4km) – Time Trial
- Stage 17 – July 19th – Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc (Fra) to Courchevel (Fra) (166km) – Mountain
- Stage 18 – July 20th – Moutiers (Fra) to Bourg-en-Bresse (Fra) (185km) – Hilly
- Stage 19 – July 21st – Moirans-en-Montagne (Fra) to Poligny (Fra) (173km) – Flat
- Stage 20 – July 22nd – Belfort (Fra) to Le Markstein Fellering (Fra) (133.5km) – Mountain
- Stage 21 – July 23rd – Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (Fra) to Paris Champs-Elysees (Fra) (115.5km) – Flat
Every rider that starts and completes Le Tour in 2023 will have raced a total distance of 3,405.6km and will have climbed to the highest point in the race at the Col de la Loze, a height of 2,304 meters above sea-level.
Who Do The Bookmakers Fancy To Win Le Tour in 2023?
A look at the current outright winner odds for Le Tour 2023 with bet365 Sport reveals that the bookmakers feel this is a two-rider race.
Joint favourites at 11/10 are the riders that finished 1-2 last year and who between them, have won the last three Le Tour races. Jonas Vingegaard (Denmark) and Tadej Pogacar (Slovenia).
In truth, we can’t really see anybody challenging the dominance of these two riders for the Overall Classification win, but there are some good other bets available.
Pogacar is a 7/2 favourite to be crowned King of the Mountains, but Italian Giulio Ciccone (4/1) and Vingegaard (5/1) are expected to push him close.
For the Points Classification for sprinters, Jasper Phillipsen is an even money shot, while Wout Van Aert is a 3/1 chance with Fabio Jakobsen another lower priced option at 4/1.
Our feeling here is that Pogacar is the man to back to win the overall race and also the King of the Mountains title.
The race begins on Saturday and coverage will be shown daily!