Mountainous 2017 Tour de France route announced


The route for the 2017 Tour de France has been announced and includes stages in all five of the nation's mountain ranges.

For the first time since 1992, the Vosges, Jura, Pyrenees, Central Massif and Alps regions will all feature in the same edition of the Grand Tour.

Although there will be fewer climbs than in previous years, steeper gradients and the return of the iconic Col d'Izoard climb could favour riders who flourish in uphill battles.

The Izoard will host the final summit finish, the first time a section has concluded at the spot, while the queen stage will take place in the Jura mountains between Nantua and Chambery for a total altitude gain of 4,600 metres.

The race will begin in Dusseldorf, with the Grand Depart returning to Germany for the first time since Berlin kicked the 1987 edition off, and take in Belgium and Luxembourg before reaching French soil.

A time trial on the eve of the traditional Champs-Elysees finale will take place in Marseille, with the start and finish lines inside the city's impressive Stade Velodrome.

However, defending champion Chris Froome believes it is the mountains that will play the decisive role in who finishes in the yellow jersey.

"It's definitely going to be a climbers' race from what I can tell, very light on time-trial kilometres but that's all part of the race," Froome told Eurosport. "That's something I'm going to have to focus the training on so I can be at the best I can be.

"Initial feelings are that it's going to be a race that's won or lost in the mountains. It's a Tour and anything can happen. We've got to be ready for all eventualities."