Tour de France 2022: Preview, schedule and riders to watch

As Tadej Pogacar goes for a hat-trick of victories, here's everything you need to know about this year's edition of Le Tour, which starts on 1 July in Copenhagen, Denmark.

By Alessandro Poggi

The second Grand Tour of the 2022 men's road cycling season, the 109th Tour de France, begins on Friday 1 July in Copenhagen, Denmark, and will end as usual in Paris on Sunday 24 July.

Tokyo 2020 medallists Tadej Pogacar, Primoz Roglic and Wout van Aert headline the race that will cover a total of over 3,300km across 21 stages. There are five summit finishes, two time trials and six flat stages.

Slovenia's Pogacar is looking to claim the winner's yellow jersey for the third consecutive year, matching a feat most recently achieved by four-time champion Chris Froome (2015, 2016, 2017).

Following a postponement from last year due to a schedule clash with the Euro 2020 football tournament, Denmark will become the 10th country to host the Grand Depart. The 2022 route will also go into Belgium (Stage 6) and Switzerland (Stages 8 and 9), making it the first time since 2017 that four different countries feature in the same edition.

Some 176 riders will take part, eight for each of the 22 teams. That's one fewer team than in the 2021 edition.

The last day of the men's Grand Boucle will coincide with the start of the historic eight-stage inaugural Tour de France Femmes, which replaces the La Course one-day women's race.

Below you can find everything you need to know about one of the world's most gruelling endurance events this year.

2021 Tour de France podium

Tour de France 2022 General Classification men to watch

Tadej Pogacar: The Olympic road race bronze medallist comes into the 2022 Grand Boucle as the overwhelming favourite. The Slovenian has won every stage race he has taken part in this season (UAE Tour, Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour of Slovenia) and is going for a hat-trick of victories on the Tour at just 23 years of age.

Primoz Roglic: The Tokyo 2020 time trial gold medallist came agonisingly close to the GC win in 2020, while he had to abandon the race last year following a crash. The former ski jumper seems to have recovered from a knee injury that affected the first part of his season and is fresh from an overall win at the Criterium du Dauphine.

Daniel Martinez: With 2019 winner Egan Bernal still recovering from a horrific training accident, his fellow Colombian is ready to be the leader of Ineos Grenadiers after taking the Tour of the Basque Country this spring. The British team has won seven of the Tour's last 10 editions and Martinez could share the leadership with 2018 champion Geraint Thomas, who recently won the Tour de Suisse.

Jonas Vingegaard: The 25-year-old Dane finished as a surprise runner-up in 2021, and this season with two second places at the Tirreno-Adriatico and Dauphine has shown he's ready to step up if his Jumbo-Visma teammate Roglic is not fully fit.

Aleksandr Vlasov: Following Jai Hindley's success at the Giro d'Italia, Bora-Hansgrohe's hopes of winning their second Grand Tour this year lie on the shoulders of the Russian rider riding under a neutral flag. Vlasov took impressive overall victories at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and Tour de Romandie, but he was forced to abandon the Tour of Suisse for Covid when he was leader.

Other key riders at Tour de France 2022

Green jersey

Last year's points competition winner Mark Cavendish is unlikely to be selected by his team Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl and that means that the 37-year-old Manxman will have to wait before being able to surpass the legendary Eddy Merckx for number of stage wins (both are tied on 34).

The Belgian team will be led by Dutchman Fabio Jakobsen, who is hoping to take advantage of the sprint opportunities. Australian Caleb Ewan of Lotto-Soudal also fancies his chances.

The course includes several hilly stages and that might favour puncheurs such as record seven-time green jersey winner Peter Sagan, who recently was back to winning ways at the Tour de Suisse before withdrawing due to a positive Covid test. Other contenders for the green jersey will be multi-talented riders Mathieu van der Poel, who wore the leader's pink jersey at the Giro for the first three stages, and Wout van Aert, who took the points classification at both the Criterium du Dauphine and Paris-Nice this season.

Polka dot jersey

Pogacar secured the king of the mountains classification at the last two editions, and in the history of the Tour only four riders have won it more than twice (the record belongs to Richard Virenque with seven).

The Slovenian talisman will probably be challenged by some of the other GC contenders (Roglic, Vlasov, Vingegaard), as well as by Frenchmen Thibaut Pinot, who recently took the queen stage of the Tour de Suisse, and 2019 polka dot winner Romain Bardet, who was forced to leave the last Giro after suffering from stomach issues.

Tour 2022 route and important stages

The 2022 Tour de France begins with a technical 13km time trial along the streets of Copenhagen that will suit the discipline's specialists such as double reigning world champion Filippo Ganna and two-time world medallist Van Aert.

After two further stages in Denmark, the race will resume in France on Tuesday 5 July and a day later on Stage 5 cobbles will make their return for the first time since 2018. Week one is highlighted by the summit finish on the Super Planche des Belles Filles, with the following two stages foraying into Switzerland, including a finish at the Olympic Stadium in Lausanne.

During the second week the peloton heads deeper into the Alps with two straight gruelling mountain stages. On stage 11 the riders will climb the Col du Telegraphe and Col du Galibier (the highest point of the race at 2,642m) before finishing on the top of the Col du Granon; stage 12 on Bastille Day will be equally testing and will feature a summit finish on the Alpe d'Huez for the first time in five years.

The Tour will then move across the Massif Central towards the Pyrenees with the final rest day in Carcassonne. Two more back-to-back summit finishes on stage 17 (Peyragudes) and 18 (Hautacam) will offer the final chance to specialist climbers to gain ground in the GC before a 40km time trial on stage 20.

The final stage ending in Paris will see sprinters lock horns for one last time on this edition along the Champs-Elysees.

Day-by-day route of 2022 Tour de France

Fri 1 July: Stage 1 – Copenhagen-Copenhagen (time trial, 13.2 km)

Sat 2 July: Stage 2 – Roskilde-Nyborg (202.5 km)

Sun 3 July: Stage 3 – Vejle-Sonderborg (182 km)

Mon 4 July: Transfer Day

Tue 5 July: Stage 4 – Dunkerque-Calais (171.5 km)

Wed 6 July: Stage 5 – Lille Metropole-Arenburg Porte du Hainaut (157 km)

Thu 7 July: Stage 6 – Binche-Longwhy (220km)

Fri 8 July: Stage 7 – Tomblaine-La Super Planche de Belle Filles (176.5 km)

Sat 9 July: Stage 8 – Dole-Lausanne (186.5km)

Sunday 10 July: Stage 9 – Aigle-Chatel les Portes du Soleil (193km)

Monday 11 July: Rest Day

Tuesday 12 July: Stage 10 – Morzine Les Portes du Soleil-Megeve (148.5km)

Wednesday 13 July: Stage 11 – Albertville-Col du Granon Serre Chevalier (152km)

Thursday 14 July: Stage 12 – Briancon-Alpe d’Huez (165.5km)

Friday 15 July: Stage 13 – Le Bourg d’Oisans-Saint Etienne (193km)

Saturday 16 July: Stage 14 – Saint Etienne-Mende (192.5km)

Sunday 17 July: Stage 15 – Rodez-Carcassonne (202.5km)

Monday 18 July: Rest Day

Tuesday 19 July: Stage 16 – Carcassonne-Foix (178,5km)

Wednesday 20 July: Stage 17 – Saint-Gaudens-Peyragudes (130km)

Thursday 21 July: Stage 18 – Lourdes-Hautacam (143.5km)

Friday 22 July: Stage 19 – Castelnau-Magnoac – Cahors (188.5km)

Saturday 23 July: Stage 20 – Lacapelle-Marival - Rocamadour (time trial, 40.7km)

Sunday 24 July: Stage 21 – Paris La Defence Arena – Paris Champs Elysees (116km)

How to watch the 2022 Tour de France

The race will be shown live in 190 countries and here is a list of the official broadcast partners across different territories.

Europe

Belgium – RTBF

Czech Republic – Ceska Televise

Europe – Eurosport

France – France TV Sport and Eurosport France

Germany – ARD

Italy – RAI Sport

Ireland – TG4

Luxembourg – RTL

The Netherlands – NOS

Norway – TV2

Portugal – RTP

Slovakia – RTVS

Slovenia – RTV SLOVENIJA

Spain – RTVE

Switzerland – SRG SSR

The United Kingdom – ITV

Wales – S4C

Americas

Canada – Flobikes

Columbia – Caracol TV

Latin America and Caribbean – ESPN

South America – TV5 Monde

The United States of America – NBC Sports and TV5 Monde

Asia Pacific

Australia – SBS

China – CCTV and Zhibo TV

Japan – J Sports

New Zealand – Sky Sports

Southeast Asia – Eurosport and GCN

Middle East and Africa

The Middle East and North Africa – BeIN Sports and TV5 Monde

Sub-Saharan Africa – Supersport and TV5 Monde

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