Climbs of the 2022 Tour de France
In this short summary of the climbs of the 2022 Tour de France, we include all the information you need to prepare for the various stages. This edition of the Tour de France, sees the riders tackling climbs in three mountain ranges, the Jura, the Alps, and the Pyrenees. We will see some of the iconic Tour de France climbs including Alp d’Huez, Col du Galibier, and Col du Peyresourde which will be fantastic to watch.
Our tables list out all the officially categorized climbs with information such as climb length, average gradient, distance from the stage start, and categorization. Where possible we have also included the gradient profile for these climbs. We have also included the estimated time the first riders will hit the top of each of the climbs. This is handy information if you will be watching the tour either in person or on TV.
We also have a separate article with lots of information about all the stages of the 2022 Tour de France which you can access here. If you are planning on watching the Tour de France by the roadside for the first time you can see our tips for watching it in person.
Our site also has plenty of information about visiting France for a cycling holiday, so make sure you check it out. The Practical section has all the necessary information about things like visa requirements, using your mobile phone, how to get money out etc while our Destination section includes information about where to stay and how to get to various cycling destinations as well as cycling routes for you to ride.
A brief history of the mountains in the Tour de France
In most editions of the Tour de France, the mountain stages are where the race is won or lost. A single bad day for a rider in the mountains can see them lose minutes to rivals and an end to their title bid. On long mountain climbs, there is nowhere to hide and any little chinks in a rider’s armor are usually found out. Over the years climbs such as Alpe d’Huez, Col du Galibier, Mont Ventoux, Col du Tourmalet and Col d’Aubisque have become synonymous with the race.
The mountain stages are some of the most popular for people to watch the race and there are many iconic images of riders navigating a sea of spectators. It is estimated that many hundreds of thousands of fans line the mountain roads as they twist and turn their way to the summit. On rare occasions, fans get a little too close and bring a rider down.
First mountain stage in the Pyrenees
The mountains first entered the Tour de France in the 8th edition in 1910. In that year stage 10 started in the Pyrenean town of Bagneres de Luchon and climbed Col du Peyresourde, Col d’Aspin, Col du Tourmalet and Col d’Aubisque before finishing 326km later in Bayon. Octave Lapize finished the stage first in a time of 14hrs 10mins. No mean feat given that all the mountain passes were dirt roads back in those days and the bikes had nowhere near the range of gears modern bikes now have.
Inclusion of the French Alps
While the organizers deemed the addition of the mountains to be successful the riders were less impressed and there were protests in 1910 about the stage. Nevertheless, in 1911 the French Alps were added to the race with the inclusion of Col du Galibier, Col de Castillion, and Col de Braus. This was in addition to the stage in the Pyrenees.
Since those early days, both the Pyrenees and French Alps have featured in the race annually. In later years climbs in other regions such as the Jura, the Vosges, and the Massif Central have been added to the race. The Pyrenees and French Alps have generally taken turns in being featured in the all-important last week of the race. In 2021 it is the Pyrenees that will close out the mountain stages for this edition of the race.
2022 Tour de France climb stats
The 2022 Tour de France includes 11 stages with categorized climbs, five of which includes a summit finish; Stage 7 La Super Planche de Belle Filles, Stage 11 Col du Granon, Stage 12 Alpe d’Huez, Stage 17 Peyragudes, and Stage 18 Hautacam. The race includes 25 categorized climbs on 24 different mountains with Col du Galibier being climbed twice by the riders over consecutive days.
There are four climbs over 2,000m in the 2022 Tour de France with the highest being Col du Galibier at 2,642m (climbed twice), followed by Col du Granon at 2,413m and Alpe d’Huez at 2,067m. The longest climb is the climb to Col de la Croix de Fer from St Jean de Maurienne which is 29km at an average gradient of 5.2%. The shortest climb on the 2022 Tour de France is the first categorized climb, Côte de Pulventeux, which averages 12.3% for 800m on stage 6.
At the time of putting this table together, there is some information not yet publicly released by ASO about the route, which means there may be some blanks in the table. As it becomes available we will include it so be sure to check back.
Categorization of Tour de France climbs
Each of the climbs is given a categorization which is an indication of the difficulty of the climb. Hors category (HC) are the toughest climbs followed by category 1, category 2, category 3, and category 4. A category 1 climb will be harder than a category 3 climb so the lower the number the harder the climb. A climb can change categorization based on how far into a stage it might be. For example, a climb could be considered a category 2 climb if it comes early on in the stage when riders have fresh legs, or a category 1 climb if it comes towards the end.
The climb categorization also comes into play when awarding points in the Polka Dot jersey competition. For example on an HC climb the first rider over the top will be awarded 20 points while on a category 4 climb the first rider will be awarded 1 point. On an HC climb points are awarded for the first 8 riders while on a category 4 climb only the top rider receives any points. There is a sliding scale of points and positions between HC and category 4.
Planning your own cycling holiday to France
If you are planning a trip to France to ride some of these climbs and the many more on offer our site includes lots more information. We have written guides on the Best base for cycling in the Pyrenees and Where to stay in the French Alps with lots of information about these two areas. Our Destination guide page has more detailed information about The Pyrenees, The French Alps, The Alpes Maritimes, The Jura, and Provence and Luberon.