The official unveiling of the route of the 2014 Tour de France has set the tone for nine months of feverish build-up to the 101st edition of cycling’s greatest race.
Fans of British cycle sport will have a double cause for celebration when Chris Froome rolls out in Yorkshire as the defending champion next July. Will the Team Sky leader provide a third opportunity to fly the flag three weeks later?
With five summit finishes across three mountain ranges, nine cobbled secteurs in the closing 50.4km of the fifth stage, and just one time trial, the first parcours of the Tour’s second century looks set to provide a challenging and engaging race.
Here’s a close look at five key stages that could decided the outcome of the next edition of La Grande Boucle, which starts in Leeds on Saturday July 5, 2014.