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2018 Tour de France

Will this be the Tour de France that has it all?

Over three weeks in July, the 2018 Tour will feature a multitude of captivating storylines, from the battle for the yellow jersey to the historical relevance (and controversial nature) of two other jersey competitions to the unorthodox stages dotting the French landscape. Could there finally be a French champion? This year presents the best opportunity in decades.

Should you watch the 2018 Tour de France? Absolutely, and here’s why:

Froome’s battle for history

Chris Froome can join the pantheon of five-time Tour de France winners this year, barring any legal action from the UCI for his Adverse Analytical Finding for salbutamol at the 2017 Vuelta a España (a race Froome won). As of now, the case had yet to be decided by the sport’s governing body, meaning Froome was free to compete.

The stories behind Froome’s chase for five are plenty. He is the best grand tour racer of this generation, always capable of mustering the strength to topple his talented rivals. He is smart and cunning and always seems to escape the trickiest stages unscathed.

Yet there are signs that Froome may be more vulnerable than ever. His unusual showing at the Giro d’Italia hinted that the Team Sky captain has perhaps lost a few watts — but he still managed to win. Will we see the typically dominant Froome in July? Is his British team, with its enormous payroll, capable of shepherding an imperfect champion to the podium’s top step?

Sagan’s quest for green

In 2017 Peter Sagan looked poised to win his sixth points competition and tie the all-time record set by sprinting ace Erik Zabel. Then, on stage 4, disaster struck. Sagan and rival Mark Cavendish bumped together in the chaotic sprint into Vittel — Cavendish crashed and Sagan was expelled. Was the race jury correct to kick cycling’s most popular rider out of the event? The entire sport debated that topic for months after the race.

Sagan is back in 2018 to right the wrongs of last year and attempt to win another green jersey. Can he do it? There are a group of new, hungry sprinters standing in his way.

The Tour gets creative

In the not-so-distant past, the Tour de France’s defining stages had become monotonous, formulaic slogs through the mountains. Day after day of 200-kilometer stages, featuring one monstrous climb after another, simply wore down the riders. The peloton had lost the pep to attack again and again.

The Tour had to get creative. This year the race has several stages that buck tradition. Stage 9 from Arras to Roubaix includes some of the most painful pavé sectors found at Paris-Roubaix, which will force the GC men to ride like the strong men of the spring classics. Stage 10 to Le Grand-Bornand includes a section of dirt road. And then there is stage 17, a 65-kilometer stage that includes three massive climbs. The short, painful day is sure to produce fireworks.

Has the Tour organizer’s creativity made the three-week race more compelling to watch, or simply brought gimmicks to the route? This year’s battle will give us definitive proof, one way or the other.

France’s next hero

Finally, we have Romain Bardet of Ag2r La Mondiale. For the past two decades, French fans have sought a new hero to win their home race. The list of would-be winners who failed to seize their chance is long: Cedric Vasseur, Richard Virenque, Christophe Moreau, Pierre Rolland, to name but a few.

Bardet looks poised to break through soon — he has finished on the podium the last two years. He can climb, he can descend, and he is whip-smart in the peloton. Is 2018 his year?

July is here. It’s the best month for racing in professional cycling. Tune in, follow along, and keep your eyes on VeloNews.com for the best stories from inside the action of the Tour de France.

STAGE DATE LOCATION DISTANCE REPORT
1 07/07/2018 Noirmoutier-en-l'Ile to Fontnay-Le-Comte 201km REPORT / PHOTOS
2 07/08/2018 Mouilleron-Saint-Germain to La Roche-sur-Yon 182.5km REPORT / PHOTOS
3 07/09/2018 Cholet to Cholet 35.5km REPORT / PHOTOS
4 07/10/2018 La Baule to Sarzeau 195km REPORT / PHOTOS
5 07/11/2018 Lorient to Quimper 204.5km REPORT / PHOTOS
6 07/12/2018 Brest to Mur de Bretagne 181km REPORT / PHOTOS
7 07/13/2018 Fougeres to Chartres 231km REPORT / PHOTOS
8 07/14/2018 Dreux to Amiens 181km REPORT / PHOTOS
9 07/15/2018 Arras to Roubaix 156.5km REPORT / PHOTOS
10 07/17/2018 Annecy to Le Grand-Bornand 158.5km REPORT / PHOTOS
11 07/18/2018 Albertville to La Rosiere 108.5km REPORT / PHOTOS
12 07/19/2018 Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arcs to Alpe d'Huez 175.5km REPORT / PHOTOS
13 07/20/2018 Bourg d'Oisans to Valence 169.5km REPORT / PHOTOS
14 07/21/2018 Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux to Mende 188km REPORT / PHOTOS
15 07/22/2018 Millau to Carcassonne 181.5km REPORT / PHOTOS
16 07/24/2018 Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon 218km REPORT / PHOTOS
17 07/25/2018 Bagneres-de-Luchon to Saint-Lary-Soulan 65km REPORT / PHOTOS
18 07/26/2018 Trie-sur-Baise to Pau 171km REPORT / PHOTOS
19 01/01/1970 Lourdes to Laruns 200.5km REPORT / PHOTOS
20 01/01/1970 Saint-Pee-sur-Nivelle to Espelette 31km REPORT / PHOTOS
21 01/01/1970 Houilles to Paris 116km REPORT / PHOTOS

Results will be published once race is underway.

AG2R La Mondiale

FRANK Mathias
NAESEN Oliver
VUILLERMOZ Alexis
GALLOPIN Tony
BARDET Romain
LATOUR Pierre
DOMONT Axel
DILLIER Silvan

Astana

FUGLSANG Jakob
HANSEN Jesper
CORT NIELSEN Magnus
VALGREN Michael
FRAILE Omar
SANCHEZ Luis Leon
KANGERT Tanel
GRUZDEV Dmitriy

Bahrain-Merida

KOREN Kristijan
NIBALI Vincenzo
POZZOVIVO Domenico
IZAGIRRE Ion
IZAGIRRE Gorka
COLBRELLI Sonny
PELLIZOTTI Franco
HAUSSLER Heinrich

Bora-Hansgrohe

BODNAR Maciej
BURGHARDT Marcus
MAJKA Rafael
MÜHLBERGER Gregor
OSS Daniel
POLJANSKI Pawel
SAGAN Peter
PÖSTLBERGER Lukas

BMC Racing

PORTE Richie
VAN GARDEREN Tejay
CARUSO Damiano
VAN AVERMAET Greg
BEVIN Patrick
GERRANS Simon
KÜNG Stefan
SCHAR Michael

Cofidis

LAPORTE Christophe
CLAEYS Dimitri
EDET Nicolas
HERRADA Jesús
NAVARRO Daniel
PEREZ Anthony
SIMON Julien
TURGIS Anthony

EF Education First-Drapac

URAN Rigoberto
ROLLAND Pierre
PHINNEY Taylor
VANMARCKE Sep
MARTINEZ Daniel Felipe
CLARKE Simon
SCULLY Thomas
CRADDOCK Lawson

Fortuneo-Samsic

BARGUIL Warren
BOUET Maxime
GESBERT Elie
HARDY Romain
LEDANOIS, Kevin
MOINARD Amaël
PICHON, Laurent
BOUET Maxime
VACHON, Florian

Direct Energie

CALMEJANE Lilian
BOUDAT Thomas
CHAVANEL Sylvain
COUSIN Jérôme
GAUDIN Damien
GRELLIER Fabien
SICARD Romain
TAARAMÄE Rein

Dimension Data

CAVENDISH Mark
BOASSON HAGEN Edvald
SLAGTER Tom-Jelte
RENSHAW Mark
JANSE VAN RENSBURG Reinardt
PAUWELS Serge
VERMOTE Julien
THOMSON Jay Robert

Groupama-FDJ

DÉMARE Arnaud
GAUDU David
GUARNIERI Jacopo
LE GAC Olivier
LUDVIGSSON Tobias
MOLARD Rudy
SINKELDAM Ramon
VICHOT Arthur

Katusha-Alpecin

KITTEL Marcel
ZAKARIN Ilnur
MARTIN Tony
KOCHETKOV Pavel
BOSWELL Ian
KIŠERLOVSKI Robert
POLITT Nils
ZABEL Rick

Lotto-Soudal

BENOOT Tiesj
DE BUYST Jasper
DE GENDT Thomas
GREIPEL André
KEUKELEIRE Jens
VANENDERT Jelle
MARCZYNSKI Tomasz
SIEBERG Marcel

LottoNL-Jumbo

ROGLIC Primoz
KRUIJSWIJK Steven
MARTENS Paul
ROOSEN Timo
GROENEWEGEN Dylan
JANSEN Amund Grondahl
GESINK Robert
TOLHOEK Antwan

Mitchelton-Scott

BAUER Jack
DURBRIDGE Luke
HAYMAN Mathew
HEPBURN Michael
HOWSON Damien
IMPEY Daryl
NIEVE Mikel
YATES Adam

Movistar

AMADOR Andrey
BENNATI Daniele
ERVITI Imanol
LANDA Mikel
QUINTANA Nairo
ROJAS José Joaquín
SOLER Marc
VALVERDE Alejandro

Quick-Step Floors

TERPSTRA Niki
LAMPAERT Yves
GILBERT Philippe
GAVIRIA Fernando
JUNGELS Bob
ALAPHILIPPE Julian
RICHEZE Ariel Maximiliano
DECLERCQ Tim

Sunweb

ANDERSEN Søren Kragh
ARNDT Nikias
DUMOULIN Tom
TEN DAM Laurens
GESCHKE Simon
HAGA Chad
MATTHEWS Michael
THEUNS Edward

Team Sky

(Roster not yet confirmed)

FROOME Christopher
MOSCON Gianni
THOMAS Geraint
KWIATKOWSKI Michal
POELS Wout
VAN BAARLE Dylan
BERNAL Egan Arley
CASTROVIEJO Jonathan

Trek-Segafredo

BERNARD Julien
DEGENKOLB John
DE KORT Koen
GOGL Michael
GRMAY Tsgabu
MOLLEMA Bauke
SKUJINS Tom
STUYVEN Jasper

UAE-Team Emirates

ATAPUMA John Darwin
DURASEK Kristijan
FERRARI Roberto
KRISTOFF Alexander
MARCATO Marco
MARTIN Daniel
SUTHERLAND Rory
TROIA Oliviero

Wanty-Groupe Gobert

DEGAND Thomas
DUPONT Timothy
MARTIN Guillaume
MINNAARD Marco
OFFREDO Yoann
PASQUALON Andrea
SMITH Dion
VAN KEIRSBULCK Guillaume

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