Heraklion, Crete to host the Prologue and Stage 1 - The peloton will pass through Knossos and Phaistos, the two most important cities of Minoan civilisation
The 2023 ΔΕΗ Tour of Hellas begins on May 2 from the unique of its kind beach and sand sports facilities in Greece, the Karteros Beach Sports Center, with the 7.7km-long time trial Prologue. The official presentation of the teams of the Tour will follow in the afternoon.
The 120 cyclists will compete against the clock across the astonishing coastline of the Gulf. The course is mostly flat with a few low climbs that reach up to 78m.
The 187.7km Stage 2 comes the following day (May 3). The city of Heraklion will play host to the start and the finish of the race.
This is the most demanding stage of the Tour, with a total climb of 2,561 metres.
Riders will move towards Kefala hill in an area full of olive groves, vineyards, and cypresses, and then will head towards Knossos, the most important centre of the Minoan civilization. The iconic settlement was unearthed by the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans who also restored parts of the ancient city.
As they exit the city of Heraklion, riders will tackle the heights of the village of Agia Varvara; a crossroads for the southern parts of Mount Psiloritis, and western Messara. The first KOM comes after 54.8km under the imposing Psiloritis peak, in Vorizia.
Descending, towards Tympaki, the peloton will pass through the archaeological site of Phaistos which was one of the most powerful cities of the Minoan civilization in the southern part of Crete.
An intermediate sprint awaits riders in Tympaki 81.6km after the start of the stage, and a second one in 117.3km in the village of Charakas under the foothills of Asterousia.
The second KOM is scheduled to take place at 164.7 km, in Meleses, and soon after the peloton descends to the picturesque traditional Cretan village of Archanes, the second best-restored village in Europe and first in long-term development prospects.
Then comes the final part of the stage; the way back to Heraklion.