Our team of 25 riders found out what awaits them next year after the announcement of the official route of the 2023 Tour de France yesterday.
The three-week event, which traces a diagonal route from the Basque country to the German border, includes stages in the Pyrenees, the Massif Central, the Jura, the Alps and the Vosges.
At 3,404km long, it eschews the Mediterranean as well as most of the north and south of France, taking in two countries, six regions, 23 departments, and five mountain ranges – the Pyrenees, Massif Central, Jura, Alps and Vosges.
Among the ascents the team will tackle the dreaded Col de Joux Plane and the mighty Col de la Loze, the men’s Tour also includes the Puy de Dôme, a winding road to the volcanic peak last used 35 years ago, overlooking Clermont-Ferrand.
The riders will enjoy a well-deserved first rest day in Clermont Ferrand after Stage 9 before a hilly 167km stage between the Vulcania volcano park and Issoire, with a final rest day scheduled after Stage 15 and before a gruelling final week.
For many of the cyclists, it was the first time that they had met each other before undertaking the mammoth challenge for Cure Leukaemia next year.
We caught up with Paediatric Haematologist Professor Rob Wynn to hear his thoughts after the presentation in Paris:
“It has been great to meet some of the team that I am going to be doing this with. They are going to become great friends and colleagues on those hard days.
“The route looks fantastic! There seems to be a lot of mountainous stages with very few time trial (flat) sections with an average of around 160km/100miles on the saddle each day. There are a lot of summit finishes, so it is going to be tough, but also enjoyable.
“There is a lot of training that I need to do over the winter but the most important thing is that we are raising awareness and vital funds for Cure Leukaemia”