Tour de France guide
Last Updated: 27/06/13 5:04pm
The 100th edition of the Tour de France takes place from June 29 to July 21
The 100th edition of the Tour de France kicks off in Corsica on Saturday, with Britain's Chris Froome taking to the start line as heavy favourite.
Twenty-one stages over three weeks are set to provide a thrilling sporting spectacle, and Sky Sports will be on top of all the action.
Here, we build up to the race with a series of interviews, guides and insight.
The Tour starts on Saturday
The 2013 Tour de France will take place over 21 stages, 23 days and 3,403km and will involve 22 teams and 198 riders. There are four jerseys up for grabs - yellow (overall), green (points), polka dot (mountains) and white (best young rider) - as well as prizes for the best overall team and each day's most aggressive rider. To mark the 100th edition of the race, a tough, mountainous route has been laid out containing climbs of the legendary Mont Ventoux and the iconic Alpe d'Huez twice in a day. Sir Bradley Wiggins may have been ruled out through injury, but the startline will contain three former winners: Alberto Contador, Cadel Evans and Andy Schleck. Read our full guide to the Tour here
Froome is the favourite
Chris Froome is the heavy favourite for the yellow jersey after winning the Tour of Oman, Criterium International, Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphine in the build-up to the race. However, he will face competition from two-time winner Alberto Contador, climbing expert Joaquim Rodriguez, 2011 winner Cadel Evans and the exciting young American Tejay van Garderen. There are also a number of dark horses with good chances of finishing on the podium, including Froome's Team Sky team-mate Richie Porte and promising Colombian climber Nairo Quintana. Read our full run-down of contenders here
Richard Moore's predictions
Van Garderen could challenge
Sky Sports blogger Richard Moore believes Chris Froome will justify his status as race favourite and win this year's Tour de France. He believes Alberto Contador will also live up to billing and present the strongest challenge, finishing second, and feels the third place on the podium will go to the up-and-coming young American Tejay van Garderen. In the race for green jersey, Richard cannot see past Peter Sagan winning for the second consecutive year, while he anticipates the mountains classification's polka dot jersey will end up on the shoulders of either Dan Martin or Nairo Quintana. Read Richard's full blog here
Chris Froome predicts frantic start
Froome predicts a manic start
Chris Froome is predicting a chaotic start to the Tour de France in Corsica and has warned some riders' chances of victory could be lost in the opening days. The 100th edition of the Tour will begin with three road stages on the Mediterranean island, with one flat and two hilly days providing an unusually testing start to the race. "Corsica is going to be a tough one," he told Sky Sports. "Typically at the Tour de France, those first few days are really stressful in the peloton anyway. Everyone feels as if they can get into that yellow jersey position and the race is very open at that point.
Mark Cavendish eyes yellow jersey
Cavendish is eyeing yellow
Mark Cavendish is targeting winning the yellow jersey on the opening stage of the Tour de France in Corsica. The Tour usually starts with a prologue time trial, but this year offers sprinters a rare opportunity to get their hands on the coveted maillot jaune with a flat stage one from Porto Vecchio to Bastia. The yellow jersey is one of few absentees from Cavendish's glittering CV, but he said: "It's a big, big goal and a huge motivation for a team built around stage wins. It is a strong group of sprinters this year. To get a win won't be easy, especially in the first stage of the Tour."
The Tour's key climbs
Stage 15 ends on Mont Ventoux
The Tour de France's mountains invariably decide the destination of the yellow jersey and this year that is almost guaranteed to be the case. A brutally mountainous route has been laid out to mark the 100th staging of the race and any rider not on his game in the hills can forget about topping the podium in Paris. We looked at eight climbs that could make or break the riders' chances, including the merciless Mont Ventoux, spectacular Alpe d'Huez, Col de la Madeleine, Cold u Glandon, Ax 3 Domaines and Annecy Semnoz.
Team Sky name strong squad
Team Sky's Tour squad
Chris Froome's bid to win this summer's Tour de France will be supported by a Team Sky squad packed with climbing experts, Olympic champions and stage-race specialists. Team Sky have named the same squad that helped Froome dominate the Criterium du Dauphine earlier this month, with Belarusian workhorse Kanstantsin Siutsou added to make up the nine-man roster. Also included are Paris-Nice winner Richie Porte, Olympic track champions Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh, 2012 British national road race champion Ian Stannard, climbers Vasil Kiryienka and David Lopez, and all-rounder Edvald Boasson Hagen.