2015 Tour de France guide - Follow Britain's cyclists

2015 Tour de France guide - Follow Britain's cyclists


Our stage-by-stage guide details the route and will follow race as it unfolds, from Utrecht to Paris via 21 stunning and varied stages.

Each day we've got top tips on how to deal with the kind of terrain that the pros will face, helping you to ride and race smarter.

We also pick out the British riders to look out for on each stage and chart their progress from the Prologue to Champs-Elysee.

Chris Froome takes time from Contador, loses out to Nibali
Stage 1: Utrecht - Utrecht
4 July

Chris Froome powers through the stage one time trial of the 2015 Tour de France

Stage summary: Team Sky's Chris Froome gained a slender eight-second advantage over Spain's Alberto Contador on the opening stage of the 2015 Tour de France, but gave away seven seconds to definding champion Vincenzo Nibali on the flat 13.8-kilometre individual time trial Utrecht. Stephen Cummings of MTN Qhubeka finished highest-place Brit in 10th, with Geraint Thomas 12th and Alex Dowsett 13th.

What they said: Alex Dowsett described his attempt to overcome the time of stage winner Rohan Dennis: "Every time I looked down it was 500 watts and I knew deep down I couldn’t maintain that. I’m disappointed but not overly surprised by the result."

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: Inspired by the prologue? Give your club 10-mile TT a go

Cavendish thwarted as Froome gains time in weather ravaged stage
Stage 2: Utrecht - Zelande
5 July

Stage summary:
Team Sky's Chris Froome gained time on all of his rivals, ending a wet and wild stage two the highest favourite on general classification in tenth position. The race split in crosswinds and Froome made the lead group, which included Alberto Contador - but not Nairo Quintana. In the sprint to the line Mark Cavendish was overhauled by Andre Griepel, however Froome stole four seconds from Contador and one minute 28 seconds from both Quintana and Nibali.

What they said: Chris Froome describes the moment 2014 Tour de France winner Nibali was taken out of the lead group by a puncture: "It was chaos out there. Nibali – one second he was right next to me and then he was gone – but that’s the nature of the racing here."

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: North Sea winds could mean echelons - learn how Racesmart in the wind

Chris Froome takes yellow jersey after dramatic stage to Mur de Huy
Stage 3: Anvers - Huy
6 July

Chris Froome

Stage summary: Britain’s Chris Froome asserted further dominance on stage three from Anvers to Mur de Huy, placing second on-stage behind Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez, to take the yellow jersey by one second ahead of Tony Martin. Teammates Geraint Thomas and Pete Kennaugh supported Froome admirably on the final two climbs to deliver the 2013 champion in perfect condition to inflict more damage on his rivals’ aspirations, on a day marred by crashes.

What they said: Chris Froome after taking yellow: "I wouldn't have believed it at the beginning of the stage if you'd told me I'd be in yellow by this evening. Especially on a day like this with such a punchy climb in the final. This normally really isn't my kind of thing."

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: Tackling steep climbs

Froome loses yellow but keeps GC rivals at distance
Stage 4: Seraing - Cambrai
7 July

Chris Froome on the cobbles behind eventual stage winner Tony Martin.

Stage summary: Chris Froome relinquished the yellow jersey but importantly survived the seven cobbled sections as Tony Martin took stage four with a late breakaway. The time bonus for Martin moves the German into yellow with Froome and his Team Sky colleagues freed of the pressure of defending the jersey so early in the Tour. Importantly, Froome - expertly guided by Geraint Thomas and Nicolas Roche over the pave - lost no time to his general classification rivals Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana, and sits in second overall.

What they said: Chris Froome post-stage: "The legs are feeling good. Again I have to thank my teammates...that is riding on the cobbles - it is hairy, it is sketchy but I think all the GC contenders will sleep a lot better tonight. I’m not concerned about losing the yellow jersey…this is the perfect situation for us and it will hopefully mean my guys can have a bit of a rest over the next few days now.”

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: Riding the cobbles

Cavendish third into Amiens as Froome maintains second overall
Stage 5: Arras Communaute Urbaine / Amiens Metropole
8 July

Mark Cavendish loses out in the sprint to Andre Greipel and Peter Sagan

Stage summary: Britain’s Mark Cavendish missed out on his second chance for stage victory, taking third place at the end of the 189.5-kilometre stage from Arras to Amiens, as Andre Greipel took the win ahead of Peter Sagan. Despite support from world champion Michal Kwiatkowski and yellow jersey Tony Martin, Cavendish was outgunned by the German sprinter into a headwind on the finishing straight. Chris Froome finished in 28th position on the same time as the winner, losing no time on his general classification rivals on another day that saw multiple crashes and splits in the peloton. Froome finished the day as he started, 12 seconds behind race leader Martin.

What they said: Mark Cavendish (via Twitter) before today's stage in the Somme: "Nice to see @letour paying tribute today to the brave people that served during the First World War. We will remember you."

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling 

Tip of the day: How to hold your position in the bunch

Froome to start stage seven as race leader after Martin abandons with broken collarbone
Stage 6: Abbeville – Le Havre
9 July

Chris Froome surrounded by Team Sky on the road to Le Havre

Stage summary: Zdenek Stybar took victory on the 191-kilometre coastal stage from Abbeville to Le Havre but it was bad news for his Etixx Quick-Step teammate, race leader Tony Martin, who crashed heavily close to the finish along with GC favourites Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana. All remounted and finished, but Martin's Etixx-Quick Step team website later confirmed that the German had sustained an open fracture of the collarbone and would not start stage seven. Chris Froome was clipped in the incident but avoided serious injury and ended the stage second overall, 12 seconds behind Martin. Froome will start stage seven as race leader following Martin's withdrawal.

What they said: Chris Froome (via Twitter) shortly after the stage: "Managed to get through with minor graze to the knee. Hope everyone involved, especially @tonymartin85, is okay!"

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: How to position yourself for the sprint

Mark Cavendish sprints to stage win in Fougeres
Stage 7: Livarot – Fougeres
10 July

Mark Cavendish sprints to victory on stage seven of the 2015 Tour de France

Stage summary: Mark Cavendish claimed his first stage win of the 2015 Tour de France in a hectic sprint to the line. Cavendish timed his move to perfection, coming off of the wheel of green jersey holder Andre Greipel and taking a clear victory. Chris Froome will officially wear the yellow jersey on stage eight.

What they said: "I wanted it; I just had this feeling. I was lying in the room with my wife and daughter I knew today was okay. The team were motivated and incredible after the near misses and they keep the faith. I just wanted it so bad."

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: Racesmart - How to sprint

Adam Yates impresses on the Mur-de-Bretagne as Froome maintains overall lead
Stage 8: Rennes – Mur-de-Bretagne
11 July

Adam Yates

Stage summary: Adam Yates (Orica GreenEDGE) was the best-placed Briton on stage eight from Rennes to Mur-de-Bretagne, finishing an impressive seventh, 10 seconds behind stage winner Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R) and one place ahead of race leader Chris Froome. Yates made it into the final selection on the steep slopes of the ‘Wall of Brittany’ and was part of a three-man attack in the last kilometre, reeled in by Froome, who now leads Tinkoff Saxo’s Peter Sagan by 11 seconds ahead of Sunday’s team time trial.

What they said: Adam Yates after his seventh-place finish on Mur-de-Bretagne: "We've lost a couple of guys already, couple of our major guys like Gero (Simon Gerrans), (Daryl) Impey and (Michael) Albasini. But yeah we'll wait for the mountains now and me and my brother (Simon) will try something when we're there - try and get into a breakaway or try something and hope for the best."

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: How to ride rolling roads

Froome holds off van Garderen threat in team team time trial to retain yellow
Stage 9: Vannes - Plumelec
12 July

Chris Froome remained in the yellow jersey heading into the first rest day as Team Sky finished behind stage winners BMC Racing by just one second in the team time trial.

Stage summary: Chris Froome remained in the yellow jersey heading into the first rest day as Team Sky finished behind stage winners BMC Racing by just one second in the team time trial.

Sky completed the 28-kilometre course from Vannes to Plumelec in 32 minutes and 16 seconds, with Froome needing to concede 13 seconds to BMC’s Tejay van Garderen if the American was to take the yellow jersey.

The result also saw Froome take further time on general classification rivals Vincenzo Nibali, Nairo Quintana, and Alberto Contador - 34 seconds, three seconds and 27 seconds respectively.

What they said: Chris Froome on his position going into the rest day: "Right now the biggest rival is Tejay van Garderen. It's definitely not for me to be attacking at the moment. It's down to the other GC teams to try to take the jersey."

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: Aero gains for all

Rest day
13 July

Tip of the day: Maximise your post-ride recovery

Chris Froome dominates first mountain stage
Stage 10: Tarbes – La Pierre Saint-Martin
14 July

Chris Froome wins stage 10 of the 2015 Tour de France

Stage summary: Chris Froome stamped his authority on the first mountain stage of the 2015 Tour de France, taking a commanding victory at the top of La Pierre Saint-Martin. Attacking with seven kilometres to the summit, Froome rode alone in the yellow jersey to win by 59 seconds from Richie Porte, extending his lead to two minutes 52 seconds over Tejay Van Garderen in the general classification.

What they said: After the stage, Chris Froome summed up his ride: "I’m lost for words, it was unbelievable. I couldn’t believe it. I heard the names getting dropped over the radio. It was textbook from the team and I’m over the moon to be able to finish it off for them."

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: Tackling long climbs

Froome steers clear of drama to keep grip on yellow jersey
Stage 11: Pau - Cauterets
15 July

Froome in the mountains

Stage summary: Chris Froome maintained his dominance on the yellow jersey with an incident-free stage 11 for the Briton. Froome was guided by Team Sky colleague Richie Porte for much of the stage from Pau to Cauterets, which included six categorised climbs. Rafal Majka was victorious on the day with a solo breakaway while Froome crossed the line in ninth, recording the same time as Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana as defending champion Vincenzo Nibali lost further time in the general classification.

What they said: Geraint Thomas summed up the stage from Team Sky’s perspective: “Today, the peloton knew the breakaway would probably succeed so there was a really hard start with nearly two hours on the rivet. Fortunately, we rode well as a unit and when the break went things settled down and we could recover as much as possible before the Tourmalet. Astana set a solid pace but me and Richie held in there and took Froomey all the way to the line. Job done.”

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: Dressing for the mountains

Froome withstands attacks to remain in yellow
Stage 12: Lannemezan - Plateau de Beille
16 July

Chris Froome withstands attacks on Tour de France stage 12

Stage summary: Chris Froome withstood a series of probing attacks from his key rivals on stage 12 of the 2015 Tour de France, to remain in yellow. On a third consecutive day in the mountains, Froome was challenged repeatedly and even launched his own move of defiance. At the summit of Plateau de Beille the favourites remained largely together with significant change in the general classification. It was bad news for Alex Dowsett, who became the first Brit to withdraw from the race.

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: How to descend

Froome holds firm on transitional stage to Rodez
Stage 13: Muret - Rodez
17 July

Chris Froome

Stage summary: Chris Froome continued his impressive run of consistency on the 198.5-kilometre transitional stage from Muret to Rodez. After weathering the previous day of attacks on Plateau de Beille, Froome still had enough in the tank to sprint at the uphill finish, ending the stage in an impressive sixth place to ensure that all of his general classification rivals were behind him. BMC Racing’s Greg van Avermaet took stage victory with Froome just seven seconds behind, while Geraint Thomas was 14th, on the same time as his Team Sky leader.

What they said: Chris Froome talking to Team Sky post-stage: "There are some tired bodies out there. It was really hot, but I much prefer those conditions to how it was yesterday with the rain and cold. I’m happy with how things went. I didn’t lose time to anyone and got through it without any major issues, and we’re another day closer to Paris."

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: How to choose the right time to attack

Cummings soars to victory in Mende
Stage 14: Rodez - Mende
18 July

Cummings takes solo win in Mende 

Stage summary: “Steve Cummings scored an audacious stage win in Mende, attacking the break he formed earlier in the day, using a blend of bravery and skill to stay away in the final turns. Chris Froome withstood a flurry of late attacks, holding on to his yellow jersey and countered to gain another second on general classification.”

What they said: “I threw caution to the wind, I got a little gap and I’m pretty confident with those climbers, that a gap on the flat or downhill it’s difficult to catch me.”

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: How to set up a breakaway

Froome holds firm as alpine passage looms
Stage 15: Mende - Valence
19 July

Chris Froome remains in yellow after stage 15 of Tour de France

Stage summary: Chris Froome made no mistake on stage 15 of the 2015 Tour de France on another tough transitional stage. Surviving the narrow streets of the final kilometres, Froome retained the yellow jersey as select sprinters and strongmen battled it out for the stage win.

What they said: After yesterday's incident, Chris Froome was happy to refocus on racing. "It was a good day and great atmosphere on the road. We're here to do a job and we have to stay focussed on that. Before the finish we have five racing stages left.  We're in an extremely fortunate position; we have nine riders and they are all fit and healthy."

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: How to chase down a breakaway

Thomas survives spectacular crash as Froome reaches second rest day in yellow
Stage 16: Bourg-de-Peage - Gap
20 July

Geraint Thomas

Stage summary: The 201-kilometre stage from Bourg-de-Péage to Gap always promised an exciting conclusion on the descent from Col de Manse and it lived up to its billing for Britain’s Geraint Thomas, who crashed on a tight right hander, knocked off the road by an out of control Warren Barguil. Miraculously Thomas remounted to finish and keep his sixth place on general classification. Chris Froome finished alongside his general classification rivals, 18 minutes behind stage winner Ruben Plaza Molina, to go into the second rest day wearing yellow. But Team Sky and the British contingent was diminished by one, as Peter Kennaugh sadly abandoned the race after suffering with illness for the past week.

What they said: Geraint Thomas shortly after finishing the stage, showing that he and his sense of humour were both intact: "We came into a hard right and I was just following the wheel then all of a sudden, Bargail was just going straight on and just pushed me straight off into a lamppost and down a ditch. I feel alright for now. I guess the doctor will ask me my name and my date of birth soon. I lost my glasses as well. They don't even make them anymore!"

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: Cycling nutrition for long rides

Rest day
21 July

Tip of the day: Haven't got a soigneur?! Try our foam roller routine

Froome answers Quintana's challenge to maintain lead on the road to Pra Loup
Stage 17: Digne-les-Bains – Pra Loup
22 July

Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana shake hands before the start of stage 17 to Pra Loup

Stage summary: Chris Froome weathered a series of attacks from nearest rival Nairo Quintana to maintain his overall lead of three minutes and ten seconds on the first day in the Alps. Quintana, flanked my Movistar teammate Alejandro Valverde, repeatedly tried to steal time from Froome on the final second category climb to Pra Loup but couldn’t shake off the yellow jersey, the pair finishing side by side. Geraint Thomas moved from sixth to fourth, as Contador lost time thanks to a crash, while third-placed Tejay van Garderen abandoned due to illness. Adam Yates was the best placed British finisher, taking 10th place after getting into the day’s main break, with the stage win going to Giant-Alpecin’s Simon Geschke.

What they said: Chris Froome on the challenge of Nairo Quintana: "He is still pushing me, he is still testing me. I definitely felt in that last kilometre - he was just pushing on to see if I could respond. I'm feeling alright at this stage. I'm just hoping to stay on my bike these next few days and get through the best I can."

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: Improve your ascending with our climbing 101

Froome maintains advantage on relentless Col du Glandon stage
Stage 18: Gap - Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne
23 July

Chris Froome on stage 18

Stage summary: Chris Froome continued his impressive run of consistency on the second day in the Alps, finished the 186.5-kilometre stage from Gap to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne as he started, three minutes and 10 seconds ahead of Nairo Quintana. Froome, accompanied by Geraint Thomas was unperturbed when first Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali probed on the haute categorie Col du Glandon and had enough left in the tank to ensure that the race stayed together over the final, snaking climb of the Lacets du Montvernier. Simon Yates gave British fans more to cheer about, part of an early break that stayed away over the opening climbs of the day.

What they said: Geraint Thomas summed up the mood in the Team Sky camp with three days of racing left: "Morale is good. Everyone's really up for it now. We can see the finish and Froomey's in great form so everyone's buzzing off that and everyone can get that little bit extra out."

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: Lose weight and improve your climbing

Froome limits losses to stay in yellow despite summit finish attack from Quintana
Stage 19: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - La Toussuire - Les Sybelles
24 July

Chris Froome grimaces as he crosses the line to complete stage 19

Stage summary: Nairo Quintana stole 32 seconds on general classification from Froome on the 138-kilometre stage to La Toussuire, the Colombian launching a savage attack with five kilometres to go. Froome, who had just lost his last Team Sky wingman Wout Poels, responded but couldn’t reel in the Movistar rider. Froome limited his losses, finishing 30 seconds behind Quintana on the mountain top finish, extended to 32 seconds thanks to time bonuses. The drama of the day left Froome two minutes and 38 seconds ahead of Quintana with a massive stage to Alpe d’Huez still to complete. Up ahead Vincenzo Nibali took a fine solo stage victory after attacking on the climb of the Col de la Croix de Fer, the haute categorie climb that put paid to Geraint Thomas’ fourth place on general classification.

What they said: Chris Froome: "It was just a massive day out there. From the word go the racing was on. I think all in all, a pretty good day for us to tick it off. One day closer. One day of real racing left now. Quintana put in a real big attack there. I chose to ride my own tempo, try and limit my losses, try and stay within myself and keep a bit of energy for tomorrow."

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: How to descend in a line

Froome survives final test to triumph in Tour de France
Stage 20: Modane - Alpe d’Huez
25 July

Chris Froome

Stage summary: Chris Froome all but secured his second Tour de France title in a showdown on the Alpe d'Huez between the general classification contenders. Froome faced a double-pronged attack from Movistar teammates Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde - with Quintana gaining a dangerous advantage on the final ascent. Froome, guided by Richie Porte, limited his losses to concede one minute 20 seconds on the stage, but crucially hold on to a lead of one minute 12 seconds overall and the yellow jersey.

What they said: Sir Dave Brailsford on the performance of Chris Froome: “It was a bit close in the end. After everything he has endured he has shown his real mettle and what he’s all about. A deserved winner and a credit to Britain. Chris is the most unbelievable competitor on the bike, he’s such a resilient character, he’s prefect for the job and he deserves more credit than he gets. A true champion and Britain doesn’t have many of those.

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: Sportive tips - eating and drinking on the day

Chris Froome makes history with second Tour de France victory
Stage 21: Sèvres - Grand Paris Seine Ouest - Paris Champs-Élysées
26 July

Stage summary: Chris Froome made history by becoming the first Brit to win two Tour de France titles. Arriving on the Champs Elysees, timing stopped for the stage as organisers took the decision to protect the race leaders on a finishing lap that had been left treacherous by a day of rain. Crossing the line in arms with his Team Sky squad, Froome had time to enjoy the moment in history.

What they said: Chris Froome, upon winning the Tour de France for a second time: “The malliot jaune is special, very special. I understand its history – good and bad. I always respect it, never dishonour it and will always be proud to have won it.”

Full report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day: Inspired by Le Tour - give road racing a try yourself

How to watch the 2015 Tour de France

  • Live coverage will be available on ITV4 each day
  • Highlights will also appear on ITV4 each evening from 7:00-8:00pm (except the final day, when they will be broadcast from 9:00-10:00pm)
  • Go to ITV.com’s Tour de France home for full schedule information
  • Live coverage and highlights are also available on Eurosport

Related Articles

Armitstead and Atherton nominated for Sportswoman of the Year award

Lizzie Armitstead and Rachel Atherton gain nominations for the 2015 Sunday Times and Sky Sports Sportswoman of the Year award.

Find out more

British Cycling member wins experience in Madison team car

British Cycling teamed up with Madison to offer one lucky competition winner the chance to experience an elite road race in the Madison team car.

Find out more

World champion Armitstead turns attention to Rio Olympic gold

Armitstead: "That will be my focus now for the next 12 months. All in for Rio."

Find out more