A highly promising route
From September 13th to 17th of 2022, Luxembourg will catch the cycling fever once again for the 82nd edition of the Škoda Tour LuXembourg, the Grand Duchy’s biggest cycling race. The race will cross the hills of the luxembourgish Ardennes in the north, the fabulous vineyards of the Moselle river and the historical industrial sites of southern Luxembourg.
However, the cyclists will not be able to do any sightseeing. They will be fighting for the succession of Joao Almeida, who won the Škoda Tour LuXembourg in 2021. In order to win this year, they need to resist to a multitude of different terrains. From day one, the contenders for the final victory will have to be on their toes.
The first stage will start on Tuesday, September 13th near the Stade de Luxembourg, which was inaugurated a year ago, and will cover 163,8 km with four climbs. In the north of the country, the ascents of Niklosbierg (cat.1/4,4 km at 6,1%), Bourscheid (HC/3,4 km at 7,6%) and Eschdorf (cat.1/2,8 km at 8,4%) will be tackled. The Côte de Stafelter (cat.1/2,6 km at 5%) with 9 km to go could already reveal who will be among the best riders in the final classification. Before crossing the finish line near the European school in Luxemburg-Kirchberg, the competitors will have to climb slightly for 3 km. In the previous edition of the Škoda Tour LuXembourg, Joao Almeida laid the foundations for his final victory by winning the first stage which was identical to this year’s finish.
The famous Col de l’Europe
The sprinters will mark Wednesday, September 14th on their calendars. However, a bunch sprint is not guaranteed at all: the famous Col de l’Europe (HC/1.5 km at 7.9%) must be tackled with 49 km to go. It would be an ideal opportunity for riders who want to seriously complicate the race. This second stage of 163,4 km will start in Junglinster and will first discover the Mullerthal region, known as the little Switzerland of Luxembourg, before crossing the west of the country to arrive near the town hall in Schifflange. A tribute will be paid to Nicolas Frantz, back-to-back winner of the Tour de France (1927 and 1928), with an intermediate sprint in front of his house in Mamer.
With a distance of 188,4 km, the third stage on Thursday, September 15th will be the longest of this 82nd edition of the Škoda Tour LuXembourg and will lead from Rosport to Diekirch, where the finish line is situated near the football stadium. Three climbs will be decisive: Um Knupp (HC/800 m at 9,8%) is located 60 km from the finish line. Yet, the rather steep slopes of the Héndelbierg (HC/2 km at 6,1%) and the Huelewee (HC/1,7 km at 7,3%) will separate the wheat from the chaff on the final course of 20,6 km.
A time trial far from being flat
On Friday, September 16th, the bikes need to be changed, as a 26,1 km long time trial will be on the menu. Far from being flat, the route starts at the Esplanade in Remich and climbs through the vineyards to the edge of Schengen, before following the Moselle river to return to Remich again for the stage finish. A preliminary decision can be expected in the fight for the overall victory.
However, the final clash will only take place on Saturday, September 17th. Traditionally, this stage leads from Mersch to Luxembourg-City (178,4 km), where the finish line is in front of the Hall Victor Hugo. The climbs of Nommern (cat.1/2,7 km at 5,2%), Schlindermanderscheid (HC/3,4 km at 6,6%), Kautenbach (HC/4,6 km at 4,6%) and Misärshaff (cat.1/2,2 km at 6,3%) are not the only ones that will make things complicated on the last day. With 28,5 km to go, the peloton enters the final circuit. It will pass the finish line three times, but in each round, it will have to cross the famous Pabeierbierg (825 m at 9%) with 1 km to go.
The stages of the Škoda Tour LuXembourg 2022
Tuesday, September 13: Luxembourg-City – Luxembourg-City (163,8 km)
Wednesday, September 14: Junglinster – Schifflange (163,4 km)
Thursday, September 15: Rosport – Diekirch (188,4 km)
Friday, September 16: ITT Remich – Schengen – Remich (26,1 km)
Saturday, September 17: Mersch – Luxembourg-City (178,4 km)