Endura Sport

Three weeks in France – our Tour de France Preview

Endura are outfitters to the WorldTour and Grand Tours. Kit made by us in Scotland will once again be heading to the Grand Depart in Belgium for a hectic three weeks of action and this year’s edition is shaping up to be a belter with a gruelling final week of high mountain passes in the Alps.

Movistar Team once again go with their fearsome trident of leaders – Nairo Quintana, Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde – Quintana with a point to prove after a disappointing 2018 Tour, Landa coming off the back of a strong fourth place finish at the Giro and Valverde looking to show off his rainbow stripes in style in the world’s biggest bike race. Can Movistar Team replicate Richard Carapaz’s impressive win in Italy and pick up their eighth Tour de France title?

This year’s race opens with a homage to Eddy Merckx with a stage that’s set up for the sprinters to claim the first yellow jersey in Brussels, in a critical first week that contains both a long team time trial and the first summit finish at  Planche des Belles Filles which might not hit heights, but will be tough enough to reset the GC.

Week two sees the peloton make a beeline for the Pyrenees via the massif central and in a series of lumpy stages and the only individual time trial of the race. This year the time trialists will be the rabbits to chase – can gains against the clock be held in the mountains? The week closes with two mouthwatering Pyrenean stages which include the mighty Tourmalet and a new summit finish at Prat d’Albis near Foix.

The final week is about climbing. And then some more climbing. First up is a quick stage that’s likely to end in a bunch sprint in Nîmes that serves as a hors d’oevre ahead of series of stages packed with hors catégorie climbs that finishes with a 130km stage to Val Thorens that might sound short, but features over 4,500km of vertical... After that, it’s off to Paris for the usual procession into the final circuits around the Champs Elysées.

We’ll be following Movistar Team every km of the way, look out for daily photogalleries on Facebook, special features at Renegade Stories and insights into how the Endura Custom team prepare a WorldTour squad for a Grand Tour.