Lots of climbing and a ton of opportunity
Our men’s team gets to premier their new Lidl-Trek kits in front of the cycling-mad fans in the Basque country, as the Grande Boucle departs from beautiful Bilbao in Northern Spain. The route is very balanced but also relentless: expect there to be never more than two days in a row where the GC riders aren’t going head to head. The fireworks actually start as early as stage 1, with 3,300 meters (10,000 feet) of climbing on the menu and the first yellow jersey on the line. The first major mountains arrive early, on Stage 6 (Col du Tourmalet) and Stage 9 (Puy de Dôme). The second week has a combination of hilly stages and mountain stages and will start to shape the GC battle.
In contrast to all the climbing the riders will have to tackle, there’s only 22 kilometers of time trial in the 2023 Tour de France, at the start of the final week. From there, we have a sprint stage and two final mountain days before the traditional procession in Paris.
Our team's goals
Lidl-Trek is heading to the Tour de France with an experienced team and coming off a highly successful weekend at the various national championships: the eight riders have a combined 23 participations in the biggest bike race in the world, with road captain Tony Gallopin alone accounting for ten.
But we also have two riders who have never raced the Tour, Juanpe Lopez and Mattias Skjelmose. And two riders who had their debut only last year: Quinn Simmons and Alex Kirsch.
Skjelmose, who just like Kirsch and Simmons won the national road race this past weekend, will be Lidl-Trek’s GC leader. The young Dane won the Tour de Suisse and will try his hand at the GC in the Tour. The team is fully committed to supporting Mattias over three weeks and protecting his overall ambitions. Riders like Jasper Stuyven and Alex Kirsch can do amazing work on the flatter stages, while Juanpe Lopez and Quinn Simmons can do the same on the climbing days. Tony Gallopin’s experience will be key to our success.
But we will also go stage hunting, notably with Mads Pedersen and Giulio Ciccone, who are both showing great form. Jasper Stuyven and Quinn Simmons will have their chances to go for glory on certain stages.
With Skjelmose, Pedersen, Ciccone, Stuyven, Lopez, Simmons, Kirsch and Gallopin we are arguably fielding our strongest TDF squad in many years – a perfect beginning for the new Lidl-Trek chapter.