Last weekend, The Tour de France came to a close, and as the riders rolled past the Arc de Triumph, the cycling season reached its zenith.
But it is far from over.
Pogacar and Vingegaard’s epic duel, alongside Netflix’s 'Tour de France: Unchained' series have brought in a swathe of new fans, intrigued by cycling and desperate to know more. In fact, we’ve been so inundated with questions that rather than answer everyone individually, we’ve written a few handy guides.
So, if you, like us, have had friends and relatives asking, “What next? How can I keep following my favourite riders?” have no fear, we have compiled the ‘Official Road Book Guide of What Races to Watch After the TDF Finishes’.
(TdFF 2023 Route)
1) Tour de France Femmes (July 23rd – July 30th) – Firstly, The Tour de France isn’t over yet! We're in for a real treat with this year's TdFF, filled with absolute class from top to bottom of the start sheet, battles that will be little shorter than Vingegaard's and Podcagars. This year we will see Lotte Kopecky working for none other than Demi Vollering and Lorena Wiebes, while Lidl-Trek bring back two-time mother in recent years and the first winner to go down in Paris-Roubaix history, Lizzie Deignan.
(Tom Pidcock at the Vuelta 2021)
2) Vuelta a Espana (26th August – 17th September) – The third and final Grand Tour of the year, a cast of slightly different but no less exciting characters will ride the length and breadth of Spain. 3153.8km of beautiful Spanish countryside, including 7 mountain stages means there will be plenty of action in a fiercely contested battle for the La Roja (the Red Jersey denoting the GC leader). Alongside some familiar faces such as Sepp Kuss and Giulio Ciccone, it’ll also be the first chance for new cycling fans to watch some of the sport’s greatest riders, who took the Tour de France off. Jumbo-Visma’s Primoz Roglic, Ineos Grenadiers’ Geraint Thomas and last, but certainly not least, Soudal-Quick-Step’s Remco Evenepoel, who will defend his Red Jersey; are just a few of the exciting new cast.
3) World Championships in Britain (5th August – 13th August)– This year the World Championships take place in Britain, with the best riders in the world competing for the Rainbow Jersey. This will also be the first time that 12 UCI World Championships will be brought together into one massive event, so not only can you catch the road cycling competition, but also a wealth of other disciplines.
4) Tour of Britain (September 3rd – September 10th) – The only World Tour race to take place on our lonely isle with regularity (excluding the World Championships this year) means it is compulsory viewing and a great way to get a close look at some of cycling’s stars without having to travel to the continent.
5) Women’s Tour of Scandinavia (23rd – 27th August) – A race of stunning scenery, that is sure to test every strength the riders have. Crossing three countries; Denmark, Sweden and Norway, along winding country roads, passing through local villages as spectators serenade the peloton with cow bells and pom-poms out, and slog up the mountains - or, float up them for the goats of the peloton. It'll be an exceptional race to watch and many of the riders will take in their form from the TdFF.
6) Tour de Romandie (September 15th – September 17th) - A Women's World Tour titled race from the beginning, originally created to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Tour de Romandie, bringing together many professional riders. A race toward the end of the season might see some changes in teams line ups, as riders tire from the long season and head toward their time off. This will make for an interesting watch; what tactics will teams play while they climb into the mountains.
7) Il Lombardia (October 7th) - Traditionally one of the last of the five monument races on the calendar, and as one of the most prestigious, the standard of rider in the peloton will be high. As the season comes to a close, you might see some changes in the line-ups, this race goes through the astounding Italian terrain, pushing the riders to use every last fibre of energy they have to end their year on a high and enjoy the glory of a win.
8) Simac Ladies’ Tour (September 5th – Sunday 10th) - This stage race has seen some of the biggest names in the Women's World Tour peloton take victories in previous years. Its tough terrain will test the riders and their ability to work as a team. One to watch, we have no doubt Weibes will be returning to take more victories home and with a strong team behind her, the battle for stage wins and GC will be on.
There you have it, eight different races to fuel your cycling craving until next year’s Tour de France. Hopefully, you’re as excited as us for the rest of the season!
And that’s not all! Once the last rider in the last race rolls over the line, you’ll have less than a week to wait until The Road Book 2023 is released; the perfect way to memorialise your first year following Road Cycling with stats from every World Tour race and essay contributions from the stars!
Written by Dannie and Henrik of The Road Book Team