2019 Tour de France to be 'highest in history'

Welshman Geraint Thomas won last year’s race.

The 2019 Tour de France route will be one for the climbers after organisers confirmed the peloton will have to tackle 30 categorised climbs, three summit finishes at over 2,000 metres and only 54 kilometres of time trialling.

Brussels will host the Grand Depart on July 6, with two stages to be held in Belgium before heading back into France as the riders cover 3,460 kilometres over the three weeks.

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After moving into eastern France, the route travels down to the Pyrenees – after a stop off in Romain Bardet's home town of Brioude – for an individual time trial in Pau followed by a third summit finish on the Tourmalet.

A visit to Prat d'Albis follows before the Alps come into view, with the yellow jersey to be decided on some tough climbs beginning on stage 18.

Tour de France 2019: ‘Highest in history’ will be decided in the Alps – but route risks deterring Tom Dumoulin

The 207km to Valloire will take in the Col de Vars, and the iconic duo of the Col d'Izoard and Col Du Galibier – all three at an altitude of over 2,000m.

Another day in the mountains around ski resort Tignes will push the riders to 2,770m above sea level, reducing the oxygen at a critical time of the race.

A short day culminating in a 30km climb to Val Thorens at a 5.5 per cent gradient will crown the 2019 champion, with the customary procession to Paris taking place on July 28.

Speaking after the presentation, four-time winner Chris Froome said: "It's a tough route like all Tours de France!

"But what really stood out to me is the multiple finishes above 2,000 metres, that's really going to stand this route apart from previous editions."