The 2023 Tour de France: A feast of pedal power

By We Love Cycling

As the world’s most celebrated cycling competition, the Tour de France has painted the French countryside with a breathtaking blend of passion, determination and cycling prowess. From thrilling sprints to gruelling climbs, this year’s Tour has once again captivated fans with its fair share of trials and tribulations.

Join us as we delve into the unforgettable journey of the 110th edition of the famed race…

This year’s tour

Once again, the Tour de France route included its fair share of challenging climbs, thrilling sprints, and intense time trials that tested the limits of both endurance and tactical acumen.

The Tour took the cyclists on a 3,500 km journey through the heart of France, showcasing the country’s diverse landscape. From the flat terrain of the country’s north, to the challenging mountainous stretches of the Alps and Pyrenees, the Tour route was an epic battleground where cyclists fought hard to achieve the ultimate prize: the coveted yellow jersey.

As always, the competition was divided into 21 stages, running over the course of 23 days with two rest days in-between. The 2023 route promised a mix of flat, hilly and mountain stages along with two individual time-trials, each bringing a unique set of challenges and requiring different skill sets from the competitors. The riders will finally end their adventure in the heart of Paris, on the Champs-Élysées, making it a truly picturesque and symbolic finale to this pinnacle of road racing.

The all-important results

While it’s disappointing there was no Irish involvement in this year’s edition, the Tour de France always brings out the very best from its participants and this year was absolutely no exception!

Two-time champion, Tadej Pogačar, was certainly one to watch. After his stellar performance in 2020 and 2021, the Slovenian superstar returned to the race, more determined than ever. However, he faced stiff competition from reigning champion Jonas Vingegaard, the Danish powerhouse who has consistently shown that he can go toe-to-toe with the very best.

In a surprising turn of events on the final stage in Paris, Belgium’s Jordi Meeus sprinted to a surprise victory, denying fellow Belgian Jasper Philipsen a repeat win on the iconic Champs Elysees.

At the end of it all, Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard secured his second consecutive Tour de France triumph, finishing 7 minutes and 29 seconds ahead of his closest rival, two-time winner Tadej Pogacar. British cyclist Adam Yates claimed the third overall position, one spot above his twin brother Simon.

Expressing his joy, Vingegaard referred to the Tour as being a ‘tough rate’ and enjoyed ‘a great battle with Tadej.’ The Dane also has his sights set on a third Tour de France victory next year. Only eight individuals have achieved three or more Tour de France victories since the race’s inception in 1903, so we’ll be eagerly awaiting to see if Vingegaard becomes the 9th name to grace the Tour’s history books.

Vingegaard’s next goal is to conquer another Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España, commencing at the end of August. He will be riding alongside his Jumbo-Visma teammate and three-time Vuelta winner, Primoz Roglic, who recently triumphed in this year’s Giro d’Italia. The duo aims to achieve the first-ever clean sweep of the three most prestigious stage races in cycling.

Throughout the Tour, Vingegaard and Pogacar engaged in a closely contested battle, with just 10 seconds separating them after 15 stages. However, Vingegaard took control when the race entered the Alps in the final week, ultimately extending his lead to almost 2 minutes after an exceptional individual time trial and a strong performance on the challenging queen stage.

In other notable achievements, the Tour also saw Giulio Ciccone from Italy win the King of the Mountains prize for the best climber, and Philipsen took home the green jersey for winning the points category. Philipsen’s stage victories denied British cycling legend Mark Cavendish the chance to break the all-time record for Tour stage wins, leaving Cavendish tied with Belgian legend Eddy Merckx at 34 wins.


Now you’re up to speed on this year’s Tour de France, why not take a trip down memory lane and explore Ireland’s famous cycling faces and memorable races?