The 2017 Tour de France route was revealed today, and it looks like a cracker. Starting in Düsseldorf on July 1 and finishing – bien sur – in Paris, it gets a series of new steeper climbs, a finish at the summit of the Col d’Izoard and a final time trial in Marseille.
For all the key info on next year's race, visit our friends at Cyclingnews. We'll be bringing you galleries of the most exciting bike tech spotted when La Grand Boucle rolls around again, but for now we thought we'd take another look at the tech highlights from this year's edition, won by Chris Froome.
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2017 Tour de France route highlights
The innovative route will include some short but intense mountain stages and visit all five mountain regions of France – the first time in 25 years – with a transfer from the east on the first rest day meaning the Vosges and Jura will be followed by the Pyrenees, the Massif Central and the Alps. There is no team time trial again this year with the route seeming tipped in favour of the climbers and aggressive overall contenders.
Race director Christian Prudhomme seems to have taken inspiration from the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana by searching out steeper, little-known climbs and reducing stage distances. He also called on the UCI to allow him to reduce team sizes to end what he called a ‘catenaccio’ racing style.
2016 Tour de France winner Chris Froome was in Paris for the route presentation and would certainly have smiled when he saw the many climbs and the Marseille time trial.
2016 Tour de France bike tech highlights
Whether it’s prototype aero frames or custom paint jobs, the Tour is where all the very best kit gets showcased to the world. We followed the race and got the low-down on the rigs of the star riders, the new developments they're trying out and the set-up quirks they insist on to make their time in the saddle that little bit easier.
Scroll through our mega gallery above for a taste of all 22 of the pro bikes we featured over the three weeks of the Tour. You can find more detail on each bike in its individual Tour de France 2016 Pro Bikes gallery, but below you’ll find a little more on the bikes of the yellow and green jersey winners:
The yellow jersey — Chris Froome
Little has changed on Chris Froome’s 56cm F8 frame since he began riding it in 2014. Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 components and wheels handle the going and the stopping. The cockpit is comprised of a PRO handlebar and stem, while saddle duties are taken care of by a Fizik Antarest.
Personalised equipment touches include Osymetric chainrings, Nokon brake-cable housings, a custom Di2 climbing switch and a bespoke 3D printed chain catcher. Froome also has a prototype dual-sided Stages power meter.
The custom rhino logos were there from the first stage but more yellow accents appeared as the race progressed and Froome’s hold on the yellow jersey tightened.
The green jersey — Peter Sagan
Sagan’s Venge ViAS frame is relatively low-key but special touches for the Slovak World Champion include rainbow stripes on his wheels, gold jockey wheels in his rear mech and custom colour accents on his pedals and saddle.
Where his bike differs the most is the dimensions. Sagan rides a 56cm frame that’s paired with a 14cm stem. He elevates his saddle all the way up to 76.1cm but spins those mighty legs on relatively short 172.5mm cranks.
The Manx Missile had a hugely successful Tour, defying naysayers who said he's past his prime to deliver four stage wins and repeatedly pip German rival Marcel Kittel to the line. His bike of choice was the Cervelo S5, featuring Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 shifting, deep-section Enve wheels and Continental Competition Pro LTD tires in a 25mm width.
Movistar's main GC contender had a relatively quiet Tour by his standard, finishing in third behind Frenchman Romain Bardet. The Colombian rode a Canyon Ultimate CF SLX featuring Campagnolo EPS shifting, a Power2Max power meter and a a pair of prototype Campagnolo Bora 50 wheels.