The 2018 Tour de France route | Episode 26

Oct 17, 2017, 09:17 PM

October 17 | In this episode of The Cycling Podcast, Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe meet up at St Pancras station to share their first reactions to the 2018 Tour de France route, which had just been revealed in Paris.

Several of the pre-announcement rumours turned out to be red herrings. We already knew the race would set out from the Vendée but the first week is packed with surprises. There's stage five to Quimper which Christian Prudhomme dubbed as a Breton version of an Ardennes Classic followed by a double ascent of the Mur de Bretagne. But the outstanding stage of the opening week is the one to Roubaix which takes in 15 cobbled sections and is far more challenging to be described as a mini Hell of the North.

In the Alps there's a little-known gravel road, and the very familiar Alpe d'Huez, followed by another well-known finish at Mende before an intriguing trip through the Pyrenees with a short, sharp 65-kilometre stage to the Col de Portet.

The team discuss the route and wonder what the race will have in store next summer. And we hear from the four-time winner Chris Froome, who was speaking before the route announcement about his title defence.

The Cycling Podcast is supported by Rapha and Science In Sport.