PARIS is calling – and the Tour de France is fast approaching – and for the first time in 30 years the race gets going in Germany.
The city of Dusseldorf hosts the ‘Grand Depart’, a prestigious send-off for the 220-odd riders as they begin their 3,500-kilometre ride to the French capital.
And chief among them will be Chris Froome, who is expected to defend his crown, bidding to win his third in a row and Team Sky’s fifth title overall.
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With the amount of climbing in this year’s race, there is no doubt Tour organisers have left the margins tighter than ever in a bid to top the podium on July 23.
And he will have big contenders because of that – bringing the likes of Richie Porte, Dan Martin and Fabio Aru into contention along with the likes of Romain Bardet, Nairo Quintana and possibly the ageing Alberto Contador.
There should be plenty of scope for the likes of Mark Cavendish to do battle with his big rivals Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel in the sprints – where young Aussie Caleb Ewan cannot be ruled out.
For Manx Missile Cavendish, there is the prospect that he could get closer to Eddy Merckx’s 34 Tour stage wins, he’s currently just four short.
As for the Green Jersey, it always looks like five-time consecutive winner and all-round superstar Peter Sagan is going to win it. Unless he crashes, that’ll most likely be the case.
See below for our stage-by-stage guide of the biggest race in cycling.
Tour de France 2017 stages
Stage 1 – Saturday, July 1 – Dusseldorf to Dusseldorf (individual time trial) – 13km (8miles)
Stage 2 – Sunday, July 2 – Dusseldorf to Liege – 202km (125miles)
Stage 3 – Monday, July 3 – Verviers to Longwy – 202km (125miles)
Stage 4 – Tuesday, July 4 – Mondorf-les-Bains to Vittel – 203km (126miles)
Stage 5 – Wednesday, July 5 – Vittel to La Planche des Belles Filles – 160km (99miles)
Stage 6 – Thursday, July 6 – Vesoul to Troyes – 216km (134miles)
Stage 7 – Friday, July 7 – Troyes to Nuits-Saint-Georges – 214km (133miles)
Stage 8 – Saturday, July 8 – Dole to Station des Rousses – 187km (116miles)
Stage 9 – Sunday, July 9 – Nantua to Chambery – 181km (112miles)
REST DAY – Monday, July 10
Stage 10 – Tuesday, July 11 – Perigueux to Bergerac – 178km (110miles)
Stage 11 – Wednesday, July 12 – Eymet to Pau – 202km (125miles)
Stage 12 – Thursday, July 13 – Pau to Peyragudes – 214km (132miles)
Stage 13 – Friday, July 14 – Saint-Girons to Foix – 100km (62miles)
Stage 14 – Saturday, July 15 – Blagnac to Rodez – 181km (112miles)
Stage 15 – Sunday, July 16 – Laissac-Severac l’Eglise to Le Puy-en-Velay – 189km (117miles)
REST DAY – Monday, July 17
Stage 16 – Tuesday, July 18 – Le Puy-en-Velay to Romans-sur-Isere – 165km (102miles)
Stage 17 – Wednesday, July 19 – La Mure to Serre-Chevalier – 183km (113miles)
Stage 18 – Thursday, July 20 – Briancon to Izoard – 178km (110miles)
Stage 19 – Friday, July 21 – Embrun to Salon-de-Provence – 220km (136miles)
Stage 20 – Saturday, July 22 – Marseille to Marseille – 23km (14miles)
Stage 21 – Sunday, July 23 – Montgeron to Paris – 105km (65miles)
What TV channel is the Tour de France on in the UK?
The Tour de France is on ITV 4 and British Eurosport every day of the race.
What British riders are riding the 2017 Tour de France?
Chris Froome will definitely be riding for Team Sky, injury permitting.
Elsewhere he will be most likely supported by Ian Stannard, Luke Rowe, possibly Peter Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas.
Mark Cavendish, riding for Team Dimension Data, should also be in the frame, as well as his team-mate Steve Cummings, who has won two Tour stages in his career.
Twins Adam and Simon Yates are NOT set to be riding the race this year though, with their team Orica-BikeExchange opting to let them focus on the Giro d’Italia.