There will be 10-6-4″ at the finish of every road stage. Also, as a remarkable chance for the 2019 Tour, ASO is introducing the so-called ‘Bonus Points’ (identified at the stage profiles with a ‘B’ in yellow): instead of conventional bonus sprints, there will be eight climbs with 8, 5 and 2″ up for grabs at its top. The intermediate sprinters will only award points for the green jersey.
Seven overall victories and 33 stage wins are the legendary palmarès of the squads managed by José Miguel Echávarri and Eusebio Unzué –37th appearance in 2019– at the Tour de Francia. The full list can be checked out in our website’s History section.
40 years and 37 appearances in the Tour de France. There will be no team at Brussels’ start with the experience and legacy of the Movistar Team. Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa will again be the main GC references for the Eusebio Unzué-led outfit, which will also bring to Belgium no less than the World Champion Alejandro Valverde, as well as a big hopeful for the present and future of the organisation: 25-year-old Marc Soler.
Belgium will be the host country for the 2019 ‘Grand Départ’. There will be a fundamentally flat course to start (Saturday 6th), yet also including two classic hills from the Ronde van Vlaanderen with the Kapelmuur and the Bosberg, and an important team time trial (27km, Sunday 7th), which will create the first significant gaps. Leaving the country on Monday 8th, the peloton will tackle a number of short hills en route to Épernay, with an uphill finish to make for a difficult stage three.
After another nervous sprinters’ course towards Nancy (st. 4, Tuesday 9th), the TDF will enter its first mountain block: the Vosges. Stage five on Wednesday 10th will feature three cols in the last 70km before Colmar, most notably Trois-Épis (Cat-2) and Cinq Châteaux (Cat-3) near the end. In turn, Thursday 11th’s stage six will be the first real mountain stage, with seven categorized climbs that include Markstein (Cat-1), just after the start; Ballon d’Alsace (Cat-1), halfway through the course; and La Planche des Belles Filles (Cat-1), with its brutal ramps right at the end.
Following a long ‘on-bike transfer’, a nervous ones for the sprinters, to Chalon-sur-Saône (Friday 12th), the riders will tackle the second round of mountains: the Massif Central. There won’t be any flat on stage eight towards Saint-Étienne (Saturday 13th), the route covered with up to seven rated ascents, while stage nine (Sunday 14th), finishing in Brioude, will have its most dangerous point at Saint-Just (Cat-3), crested 13km from the finish. Before the first rest day -held this time on a Tuesday-, the sprinters will enjoy another chance of success in Albi (217km, Monday 15th), followed by a new opportunity after the ‘repos’ in Toulouse (167km, Wednesday 17th).
The Pyrenees week of this year’s Tour will be a bit different to what’s traditional. After an initial mountain course -Thursday 18th- over Peyresourde (Cat-1) and Hourquette d’Ancizan (Cat-1) en route to Bagnères-de-Bigorre, the GC riders will face (Friday 19th) a 27km individual time trial in and around Pau, with some tough slopes such as the ones to the Côte d’Esquillot. After the ITT, there will be two consecutive mountain-top finishes: the Tourmalet (Saturday 20th), preceded by the Soulor (Cat-1), and Prat d’Albis (Cat-1), preluded by the cols of Lers (Cat-1) and Mur de Péguère (Cat-1) on Sunday 21st.
The second rest day and a penultimate chance for the sprinters -or maybe the attackers- in Nîmes (Tuesday 23rd) will be the last resort for respite before a long, hellish Alps, with up to four stages with mountains before the Champs-Élysées. Wednesday 24th, the peloton will face the col de la Sentinelle (Cat-3) before a tricky descent towards Gap. on Thursday 25th, the majestic, well known Vars (Cat-1), Izoard (HC) and Galibier (HC) await before Valloire’s finish. Friday 26th will bring the Iseran (HC) before a mountain-top finish in Tignes (Cat-1), plus three other rated ascents with no descents. And to crown it all, on Saturday 27th, high-altitude climbs like those in the previosu two days await at the Cormet de Roselend (Cat-1), Longefoy (Cat-2) and the endless, 33km ascent to Val Thorens (HC).