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ALPE D'HUEZ, FRANCE - JULY 14: A general view of Simon Geschke of Germany and Team Cofidis Polka Dot Mountain Jersey, Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia and UAE Team Emirates white best young jersey, Wout Van Aert of Belgium Green Points Jersey, Jonas Vingegaard Rasmussen of Denmark and Team Jumbo - Visma Yellow Leader Jersey and the peloton compete beginning to climb the Col du Galibier (2619m) mountain landscape during the 109th Tour de France 2022, Stage 12 a 165,1km stage from Briançon to L'Alpe d'Huez 1471m / #TDF2022 / #WorldTour / on July 14, 2022 in Alpe d'Huez, France. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Nothing, inside or beyond the sport of cycling, can truly compare to the Tour de France. The Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España may, like the Tour, be annual three-week races, and each year the Monuments and other one-day Classics, like the Tour, invariably spark huge interest and intrigue. 

But the Tour de France is simultaneously the biggest annual sporting event on the planet, a vital piece of the host country’s national heritage, and above all, a gruelling, heroic spectacle that captivates hundreds of millions of viewers across the world: as such, le Tour eclipses them all.

This year the Tour’s main narrative could hardly be more captivating: former double champion Tadej Pogačar, all-conquering in the first half of the 2023 season until a crash and broken wrist wrecked his final Classics race of this April, will be targeting the third maillot jaune of his career. But last year’s Tour winner Jonas Vingegaard represents a colossal obstacle for the Slovenian. And having beaten the arch-favourite Pogačar so decisively in the high mountains last July, the Danish star will surely be determined to do so again.

Beyond the GC struggle, the Tour is never lacking in subplots, and this year’s most important is without a doubt Mark Cavendish’s last battle to claim a record-breaking 35th stage win

The greatest sprinter of his generation, possibly of all time, the Briton knows he has only one Tour left to achieve this prior to imminent retirement. But at 37, Cavendish faces a host of younger, equally ambitious, fastmen - all well aware that even one stage victory at the Tour instantly etches their name in the sport’s most eminent of history books.

Yet this year’s Tour route is more daunting than ever. Starting with three arduous, climb-packed stages just across the southern French border in the Basque Country, as soon as the Tour returns to more familiar terrain, the mountains kick in with a vengeance. Beginning at the Pyrenees, continuing with a rare visit to one of the Tour’s most hallowed summit finishes at Puy de Dome then finishing with a nonstop avalanche of climbs in the Alps and Vosges, the 2023 Tour winner, whoever he is, will have to master a  high mountain challenge of almost unprecedented difficulty.

Present at the Tour de France for the 30th consecutive year, Cyclingnews will once again provide unparalleled in-depth reporting and round-the-clock analysis of the 21-stage, 3,404-kilometre race. Because le Tour, after all, both demands and deserves nothing less.

PLANCHE DES BELLES FILLES, FRANCE - JULY 08: (L-R) Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia and UAE Team Emirates - Yellow Leader Jersey celebrates at finish line as stage winner ahead of Jonas Vingegaard Rasmussen of Denmark and Team Jumbo - Visma during the 109th Tour de France 2022, Stage 7 a 176,3km stage from Tomblaine to La Super Planche des Belles Filles 1141m / #TDF2022 / #WorldTour / on July 08, 2022 in Planche des Belles Filles, France. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Our Tour de France coverage

Five of the Cyclingnews team will be in the Basque Country and France for the Tour de France this year, between them our journalists boast decades of experience on the ground at the race, capturing the daily news and events of each stage. Our global team of journalists will combine to provide full live updates of every stage, with 24-hour coverage of everything that happens in Italy.

Cyclingnews will also produce regular race analysis features and detailed stage previews, alongside stunning premium image galleries and longread ad-lite premium features. Meanwhile, Philippa York and other expert columnists will provide unique insight and context into the racing and help you understand what it all means.

Our tech journalists will also capture the new bike and equipment used at the Tour de France, with tech editor Josh Croxton following the start of the race in person. We are experts on the #ProTech that the professional teams use and we’ve broken the news on new bikes for 2023, new groupsets and even the tyres which adjust their own pressures during races.

This July you can enjoy unlimited access to all of our journalism and content by subscribing to Cyclingnews. Our content is initially free to view, but once you’ve viewed five articles in a one-month period you will be prompted to take out a digital subscription – you can read more about that here.

A subscription to Cyclingnews allows you to read every word and photograph we publish. Your subscription also helps support our journalism, and especially our presence at races across the season, when we bring you the big stories and inside news that nobody else has. 

Visit our Tour de France hub page for more information on this year’s race and please join Cyclingnews for the greatest race in the 2023 cycling season. 

Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.