This year (4th May, 2018), for the first time ever - a Grand Tour will start outside of Europe! It's the 13th time that the Giro starts outside of Italy; Israel has the honour of hosting the first 3 stages, kicking things off in Jerusalem with a time trial.
As usual, the race will consist of 21 stages: 2 individual time trials, 7 sprints, 6 medium difficulty stages and 6 high difficulty stages. The total distance covered will be 3,546.2KM (2203.5 miles), which is approx. 168.9KM (105 miles) a day, OUCH. There's a nice little change for the final stage, as riders will entre beautiful Rome, an opportunity that these riders have likely never done before.
With four tours and one Vuelta Espana under his belt , Froome is now the first British rider to win the Giro d'Italia; also making him the second rider to have won all three Grand Tours AND the third rider to win them all in one year!
Get full details of each stage here.
As usual, this incredibly famous event will take place throughout the whole of July - beginning 07.07.18 until 23rd. The 105th edition of the tour will consist of 21 stages and cover a total riding distance of approx. 3,329km. There's 9 new locations visited fir the first time this year.
It's broken down into; 8 flat stages, 5 hills, 6 King of the Mountain stages and 3 altitude finishes (La Rosière, Alpe d’Huez, Saint-Lary-Soulan col de Portet) , 1 individual time trial, 1 team time trial and 2 rest days. This year, the race includes 25 mountain climbs and the cobbles return during the 9th stage in Arras, Roubaix.
The last curve ball is that after a 3 year absence, a TTT is back on the cards as early as stage 3.
With Lance Armstrong (stripped of his 7 TDF wins), he stated that if Chris Froome races the Tour this year he'll face a 'nightmare' - after experience on the unclear end of a doping accusation. The four-time title winner of the TDF is still the bookies odds to win! The record number of titles held is five, held by Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.
Four-time leading champion Froome, completed the podium this year, but not as expected... Geraint Thomas stepped in to this years spotlight; after the individual time trial stage, he gained 1m51s over Tom Dumoulin.
Ever wonder how the TDF ever got to be the biggest Classic race of all time? Read how times have changed - here.
Beginning on August 25th, the 73rd edition of this Spanish La Vuelta will begin in Malaga - the second time since 1936 and there's no better way to start than an ITT right?! The rumours are circulating, but the finalised route/ stage details are yet TBC this month. Looking ahead though, there's rumours of the 2020 edition already! Will the Vuelta go back to the future in the Netherlands...