What’s definitely true is that it is a brutal test of man, machine, team and talent. And sheer guts. Some of the climbs on this year’s race are going to test even the most heroic of competitors. With 8 flat stages, 5 hilly stages, 6 mountain stages (and 3 altitude finishes), 1 individual time trial and 1 team time trial with just 2 rest days, the man that rides into Paris at the head of the General Classification in 3 weeks time will have passed the sternest of tests.
There are a total of 26 mountain climbs / altitude finishes this year in categories 2, 1 or HC. Frankly, it will be exhausting just to watch, never mind compete.