Twenty-two teams participated in the 2013 edition of the Tour de France. All of the nineteen UCI ProTeams were entitled, and obliged, to enter the race. On 27 April 2013, the organiser of the Tour, Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), announced the three second-tier UCI Professional Continental teams given wildcard invitations, all of which were French-based. The presentation of the teams took place at the harbour of Porto-Vecchio on the island of Corsica on 27 June, two days before the opening stage held in the town. Each team arrived by boat to the stage, before being introduced to the crowd.
The number of riders allowed per squad was nine, therefore the start list contained a total of 198 riders. Of these, 54 were riding the Tour de France for the first time. The total number of riders that finished the race was 169. The riders came from 34 countries; France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and Germany all had 10 or more riders in the race. Riders from ten countries won stages during the race; German riders won the largest number of stages, with six. The average age of riders in the race was 29.45 years, ranging from the 19-year-old Danny van Poppel (Vacansoleil–DCM) to the 41-year-old Jens Voigt (RadioShack–Leopard). Of the total average ages, Cannondale was the youngest team and Saxo–Tinkoff the oldest.
The teams entering the race were:
UCI Professional Continental teams
In the run up to the 2013 Tour de France, Chris Froome (Team Sky) was widely considered as the top pre-race favourite for the general classification, with his closest rivals thought to be Alberto Contador (Saxo–Tinkoff) and Joaquim Rodríguez (Team Katusha). Astana's Vincenzo Nibali was also a possible contender after getting his first Tour podium in 2012 but he had focused on the 2013 Giro d'Italia. The riders considered outsiders were BMC Racing Team riders Cadel Evans and Tejay van Garderen, Richie Porte (Team Sky), Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto–Belisol), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ.fr), Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin–Sharp), Robert Gesink (Belkin Pro Cycling), and Movistar Team riders Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana.
The 2012 Tour de France winner, Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky, had focused on the Giro d'Italia, but retired early due to illness, subsequently pulling out because illness and injury had left him insufficient time to train for the Tour de France and chose not to ride. This left Froome, runner-up in 2012, the undisputed leader of Team Sky. He had shown his form so far in 2013 season by winning four of the five stage races he had rode: Tour of Oman, Critérium International, Tour de Romandie and Critérium du Dauphiné. Two-time Tour winner (2007 and 2009) Contador returned to the race having been suspended from the 2012 race; he had won the 2012 Vuelta a España and his best major result of the season was second in Oman. Rodríguez had podium finishes in both the Giro and Vuelta in 2012, as well as winning the UCI World Tour. He had top-ten placings in three major stage races in the season.
The sprinters considered favourites for the points classification and wins in bunch sprint finishes were Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma–Quick-Step), Peter Sagan (Cannondale), André Greipel (Lotto–Belisol), Matthew Goss (Orica–GreenEDGE) and Argos–Shimano riders Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb. Cavendish won the points classicfication at the 2013 Giro and had shown his form with thirteen wins in the season. In the previous year's Tour, Sagan won the points classification and had won the same at the Tour de Suisse in the month preceding the Tour. Greipel, whose team manager Marc Sergeant claimed he had the best sprint train, came into the Tour with nine wins in the season, including three at the Tour Down Under. Goss only had one victory in the season, but had a team of strong and experienced riders. Kittel, as with Greipel, would arrive with a team dedicated for the sprints and he had accumulated eleven wins in the season. His teammate Degenkolb won five stages at the 2012 Vuelta and it was thought he was most likely to be used for the hillier stages.
On 24 November 2011, the ASO announced Corsica would host the 2013 edition's opening race stages (known as the Grand Départ), the first time the Tour has visited the island. The route of the race was unveiled on 24 October 2012 at the Palais des Congrès in Paris. The Tour was the first to be completed entirely on French soil since 2003 and included ten new start or finish locations. The Grand Départ in Corsica consisted of three stages. The ASO chartered the Mega Smeralda cruiseferry in Porto-Vecchio to house members of the organisation, media and others who work on the Tour and to host press conferences. It featured a final set of stages which were described by journalist William Fotheringham as "brutal", including three Alpine stages in the last week along with a "viciously hard" time trial. As the 100th edition of the race, the race featured some of the famous climbs from the history of the race, Mont Ventoux and Alpe d'Huez, which was climbed twice in a stage for the first time.
The opening stage left Porto-Vecchio and ended in Bastia, with next two stages ending in Ajaccio and Calvi respectively. The race then moved to mainland France at Nice. Stages five to eight formed a four-stage journey that navigated westwards finishing at the Ax 3 Domaines ski resort in the Pyrenees. Stage nine took place between Saint-Girons to Bagnères-de-Bigorre, before a long transfer moved the race to the north-west of the country. Stage ten finished in the port city of Saint-Malo, with the next finishing at the Mont Saint-Michel island commune in Normandy. The following four stages, 11 to 15, crossed the center of the country back to the south-east finishing atop Mont Ventoux. The next five stages took place in and around the Alps, before a second long transfer took the Tour to the finish with the Champs-Élysées stage in Paris.
There were 21 stages in the race, covering a total of 3,403.5 kilometres (2,115 mi), 93.4 km (58 mi) shorter than the 2012 Tour. The longest mass-start stage was the fourth at 228.5 km (142 mi), and stage 20 was the shortest at 125 km (78 mi). Eight stages were officially classified as flat, three medium mountain, seven high mountain, two individual time trial and one team time trial. There were four summit finishes: stage 8, to Ax 3 Domaines; stage 15, to Mont Ventoux; stage 18, to Alpe d'Huez; and stage 20, to Semnoz; The final stage ending on the Champs-Élysées was an evening finish for the first time. There were ten new stage start or finish locations. The rest days were after stage 9, in Saint-Nazaire, and 15, in Vaucluse.
In the first stage, the Orica–GreenEDGE team bus had become stuck under the finishing arch in Bastia, Corsica, and with the peloton (the main group) 10 km (6.2 mi) away, the race officials moved the finish to the 3 km (1.9 mi) to go marker. As the peloton closed in, the bus was freed, and the decision was reversed. Marcel Kittel took the victory from the bunch sprint, putting him in the race leader's yellow jersey; he also became the first leader of the points classification, with Juan José Lobato (Euskaltel–Euskadi) taking the polka dot jersey as the leader of the mountains classification. Two crashes occurred in the stage; the first with 37 km (23 mi) remaining and the second in the final kilometers, which included a contender for the stage, Mark Cavendish. The second stage RadioShack–Leopard's Jan Bakelants launched an attack from a breakaway group in the final kilometer to win in Ajaccio, one second ahead of the encroaching peloton. The yellow jersey switched to Bakelants, and Pierre Rolland of Team Europcar claimed the polka dot. Simon Gerrans (Orica–GreenEDGE) won the third stage, the final in Corsica, from a bunch sprint in Calvi. Peter Sagan took over the points classification. Orica–GreenEDGE won stage four's 33 km (20.5 mi) team time trial in and around Nice, putting Gerrans in the yellow jersey. Omega Pharma–Quick-Step came in second place, one second in arrears, with Team Sky a further two.
The fifth and sixth stages ended in bunch sprints, with Cavendish and André Greipel the victors respectively. After stage six, Daryl Impey became the first South African rider to wear the yellow jersey. His teammate Gerrans ensured it for him by holding back at the finish allowing Impey – who was second overall – the time necessary to replace him at the top of the general classification. Sagan claimed the seventh stage from a bunch sprint in Albi, with Ag2r–La Mondiale rider Blel Kadri talking the polka dot jersey. In stage eight, the Tour's first mountain stage, which ended at the Ax 3 Domaines, Froome attacked a select five-rider group, which included Alberto Contador and Alejandro Valverde, as they passed the lone leader Nairo Quintana with 5 km (3.1 mi) remaining. Froome took the stage win, fifty-one seconds ahead of his teammate Richie Porte, with Valverde third a further seventeen down. Contador and Quintana finished one minute forty-five seconds behind Froome. Froome's victory win put him in the lead of the general and mountains classifications, ahead of Porte. In the ninth stage, Froome managed to subdue attacks from his rivals, although his team's efforts left him isolated for the majority of the stage. After a descent from the mountain pass of La Hourquette d'Ancizan, a group of twenty-three riders came into the finish in Bagnères-de-Bigorre, where Dan Martin (Garmin–Sharp) beat Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) from sprint, twenty seconds ahead of the group. Porte lost eighteen minutes, dropping from second overall to thirty-third, with Valverde moving up to second. Rolland took back the polka dot jersey. The next day was the first rest day of the Tour.
Kittel took his second stage of the Tour win from the bunch sprint in the tenth stage, with his compatriot Greipel second. Stage eleven's individual time trial between Avranches and Mont Saint-Michel was taken by Omega Pharma–Quick-Step's Tony Martin. Froome came second with a deficit of twelve seconds, over two minutes ahead of the second placed overall Valverde, extending his lead to over three minutes. Two flat stages ending with bunch sprints then followed; the first, stage twelve, was won by Kittel, ahead of Cavendish, who came back to win the next. The stage saw Valverde suffer a punctured tyre and lose almost ten minutes, struggling to match the pace set by Cavendish's Omega Pharma–Quick-Step team at the head of the race. Stage fourteen was taken by Omega Pharma–Quick-Step's Matteo Trentin from a large breakaway that held off the peloton. Stage fifteen, finishing on Mont Ventoux, saw all of the leading contenders, with exception of Froome and Contador, dropped on the early part of the final climb. Froome then moved away from Contador and caught Quintana, who had attacked earlier in the climb. The pair worked together to put time into their rivals, before Froome attacked with 1.2 km (0.7 mi) remaining and soloed to the finish. This gave Froome a lead of four minutes and fourteen seconds over Mollema in second place, with Contador a further eleven seconds back. Froome regained the lead in the mountains classification. The following day was the Tour's second rest day.
The sixteenth stage saw a twenty-six rider breakaway reach the final climb, the Col de Manse, where Rui Costa (Lampre–Merida) attacked and then descended own his own to the finish in Gap. Froome won stage seventeen's time trial, finishing the 32 km (19.9 mi) course from Embrun to Chorges in 51 minutes and 33 seconds, with Contador coming in nine seconds behind, in second place. Contador moved up to second overall, four minutes and thirty-four seconds down, with teammate Roman Kreuziger third. In the Tour's queen stage, the eighteenth, early breakaway riders Christophe Riblon (Ag2r–La Mondiale) and Tejay van Garderen lead on the second ascent of Alpe d'Huez. Van Garderen attacked on the early slopes, opening up a margin of forty-five seconds on Riblon in the second part of the climb, before Riblon passed with 2 km (1.2 mi) remaining and took the stage win by fifty-nine seconds. Quintana and Rodríguez came in fourth and fifth respectively, over two minutes in arrears. With 5 km (3.1 mi) to go, Porte and Froome, who came in under minute after the aforementioned pair, were penalised twenty seconds as Porte went back to the team car to retrieved an energy gel and water bottle for Froome outside the designated zone. Froome extended his lead over Contador by thirty-seven seconds.
Costa repeated his feat of three stages previous by taking victory in stage nineteen, by attacking on the final climb of Col de la Croix Fry and soloing to the finish in Le Grand-Bornand. There were no major changes at the head of general classification. Stage twenty, the penultimate stage, saw the leaders of the general classification still together at the head of the race with 8 km (5 mi) remaining of the final climb of Mont Semnoz. Quintana and Rodríguez then attacked, with Froome the only rider able to bridge, and again the pair pulling away, with Quintana managing to hold off Rodríguez by eighteen seconds to take the stage win, with Froome a further eleven down. Contador came in seventh, two minutes and twenty-eight in arrears, dropping to fourth overall, with Rodríguez moving up to third. With the double points gained with his win Quintana secured the mountains classification.
The final stage was won by Kittel on the Champs-Élysées, his fourth stage win of the race. Froome finished the race to claim his first Tour de France, becoming the second British rider to win the race. He beat second-placed Quintana by four minutes and twenty seconds, with Rodríguez third, a further forty-four seconds down. Sagan won his second consecutive points classification with a total of 409, 100 ahead of Cavendish in second. Froome placed second behind Quintana in the mountains classification, with Rolland third. The best young rider was Quintana, followed by Andrew Talansky (Garmin–Sharp) and Michał Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma–Quick-Step) respectively. Saxo–Tinkoff finished as the winners of the team classification, eight minutes and twenty-eight seconds ahead of second-placed Ag2r–La Mondiale.
There were four main individual classifications contested in the 2013 Tour de France, as well as a team competition. The most important was the general classification, which was calculated by adding each rider's finishing times on each stage. There were no time bonuses given at the end of stages for this edition of the Tour. If a crash had happened within the final 3 km (1.9 mi) of a stage, not including time trials and summit finishes, the riders involved would have received the same time as the group they were in when the crash occurred. The rider with the lowest cumulative time was the winner of the general classification and was considered the overall winner of the Tour. The rider leading the classification wore a yellow jersey.
The second classification was the points classification. Riders received points for finishing among the highest placed in a stage finish, or in intermediate sprints during the stage. The points available for each stage finish were determined by the stage's type. No points were awarded for the team time trial on stage four. The leader was identified by a green jersey.
The third classification was the mountains classification. Points were awarded to the riders that reached the summit of the most difficult climbs first. The climbs were categorised as fourth-, third-, second-, first-category and hors catégorie (English: beyond category), with the more difficult climbs rated lower. Double points were awarded on the summit finishes on stages 5, 15, 18 and 20. The leader wore a white jersey with red polka dots.
The final individual classification was the young rider classification. This was calculated the same way as the general classification, but the classification was restricted to riders who were born on or after 1 January 1988. The leader wore a white jersey.
The final classification was a team classification. This was calculated using the finishing times of the best three riders per team on each stage, excluding the team time trial; the leading team was the team with the lowest cumulative time. The number of stage victories and placings per team determined the outcome of a tie. The riders in the team that lead this classification were identified with yellow number bibs on the back of their jerseys and yellow helmets.
In addition, there was a combativity award given after each stage to the rider considered, by a jury, to have "made the greatest effort and who has demonstrated the best qualities of sportsmanship". No combativity awards were given for the time trials and the final stage. The winner wore a red number bib the following stage. At the conclusion of the Tour, Christophe Riblon won the overall super-combativity award, again, decided by a jury.
A total of €2,023,300 was awarded in cash prizes in the race. The overall winner of the general classification received €450,000, with the second and third placed riders got €200,000 and €100,000 respectively. All finishers of the race were awarded with money. The holders of the classifications benefited on each stage they led; the final winners of the points and mountains were given €25,000, while the best young rider and most combative rider got €20,000. Team prizes were available, with €10,000 for the winner of team time trial and €50,000 for the winners of the team classification. There was also a special award with a prize of €5,000, the Souvenir Henri Desgrange, given to first rider (Nairo Quintana) to pass the summit of the highest climb in the Tour, the Port de Pailhères in stage eight.
The race was the eighteenth of the twenty-nine events in the UCI World Tour, with riders from the ProTeams competing individually for points that contributed towards the rankings. Points were awarded to the top twenty finishers in the general classification and to the top five finishers in each stage. The 587 points accrued by Chris Froome put him in to the lead of the individual ranking, with Peter Sagan dropping to second. Team Sky retained their lead of the team ranking, ahead of second-placed Movistar Team. Spain remained as leaders of the nations ranking, with Great Britain second.