Five summit finishes, the winding roads of Yorkshire, cobbles in northern France and just the one individual time trial - the 2014 Tour de France route couldn't be more different from this year's centenary Grande Boucle. Blazin' Saddles takes a closer look...
Well, it was nice of Chris Froome to turn up - even if the reigning Tour de France champion looked as if he'd experienced a power cut while snatching at items of clothing from his wardrobe.
His face fuller, flabbier and be-dimpled, Froome sported the kind of beige safari jacket that he might have worn during his time studying in South Africa, a grey pair of smart-casual trousers of the sort that your dad might wear on a camping trip, and a black pair of trainers with white soles. At least he got the shirt and tie right - although such a thick Windsor knot doesn't work so well for someone with such a slight neck.
Froome definitely looked like the schoolboy when standing alongside the new world champion Rui Costa, sprint duo Marcel Kittel and Mark Cavendish, and France's only stage winner from last summer's TDF, Christophe Riblon.
Fully suited, Costa almost got it spot-on - but missed a trick by not wearing a tie (surely a rainbow number would have added something to his ensemble). Cav forewent a jacket in favour of a cardigan but let himself down by misplacing his hairbrush and keeping his top button undone (unlike his compatriot Froome, the Manxman suffers from 'fat neck' syndrome).
Although the scruffiest, Riblon looked effortlessly cool - standing on the rostrum in a pair of distressed jeans, high top black trainers and a black jacket, unshaven and his arms crossed. The only thing that would make him more French would be a smoking Gauloise hanging from his lips.
To be fair, it was hard for anyone to look the part with Kittel looming on stage. The German tyro looked like something out of a Hugo Boss catalogue - immaculate suit, cheekbones to slice steak with and blonde, fluffy quiff... in the fashion stakes, Kittel already holds the upper hand.
But while it was Kittel who wore the Tour's first yellow jersey this year, it will be that man Cavendish who will be the favourite to don the maillot jaune in his mother's hometown of Harrogate next summer. For yes, the 2014 Tour starts in Yorkshire with, once again, a road stage favoured over the usual prologue.
Welcome2Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity has promised the "greatest Grand Depart in the history of the Tour" when the race starts in Leeds on Saturday July 5, but we all know that everything will come down to the weather. Should the meteorological conditions keep to script and, like most British summers, it rains, then the whole escapade will be utterly miserable.
A second stage to Sheffield promises some tough climbs - but let's be honest, they won't be as leg-sapping as those the riders faced while crossing Corsica in stage two this summer, so expect a second chance for Cav when, no doubt, he misses out on that yellow on day one because of a combination of errant bus parking from our antipodean ancestors and/or over-zealous fan photographing.
The final stage in Britain features yet another finish on The Mall in London in a format that has become rather 'vieux chapeau'. Indeed, this will be the fourth time in just two years that some riders will have battled it out in the shadow Buckingham Palace. You'd think ASO would have come up with something a bit more novel - such as a finish amid the curry houses of Brick Lane or a dig up Primrose Hill.
Brick Lane controversially saw its cobbles replaced by tarmac last year - but there will be no such luck for Froome when the race returns to mainland France. After a day riding through the poppy-covered battlefields of World War One (one year on after the start of the Great War), the race heads to the famous Arenberg trench for a stage that will include nine cobbled sections that feature in the annual Paris-Roubaix spring classic.
The "lottery" of 15.5km of cobbles "will literally shake things up" according to Froome, who will look to "limit any losses if there are any". By this point, expect Colombian climber Nairo Quintana to be already making plans for the Vuelta and a return to form for a more traditional-looking Tour in 2015.
Seeing that the centenary Tour was very much a celebration of iconic Alpine climbs, next summer's route will only feature a brief foray into the Alps - but will include the classic ascent of the Col d'Izoard, overlooked in recent years.
Instead - and following some champagne cork-popping in Reims and Epernay - the race will enjoy a trifecta of stages in the Vosges mountains of north-east France as Tour director Christian Prudhomme puts into action his desire "to find climbs, but not just 'les grands cols'."
Froome will be happy to see a return to La Planche des Belles Filles, where he picked up his first ever Tour stage win back in 2012. The question is - will the reigning champion repay the compliment and let Sky team-mate Bradley Wiggins take the spoils here on Bastille Day?
Three stages in the Pyrenees will follow the post-Alpine transitional sprinters' stage to Nimes before the race's only time trial - a 54km race against the clock from Bergerac to Perigueux - takes place the day before the finish in Paris.
This ITT pays homage to Miguel Indurain, who secured the fourth of his five successive Tours with an emphatic victory in a time trial in the opposite direction, from Perigueux to Bergerac, twenty years ago.
Like the Giro d'Italia organisers, who have included a stage in remembrance of the late Marco Pantani, it's a bizarre piece of backwards PR for ASO to big-up Indurain so much. After all, they didn't give Lance Armstrong a mention at all when introducing the opening Pyrenean stage to Hautacam, where the Texan famously set up his victory in the 2000 race...
Attending the launch event of a Tour de France for the very first time in his long career, Jens Voigt was typically verbose about the prospect of riding a 17th consecutive TDF next summer. The veteran domestique - who is old enough to be Chris Horner's twin brother - said the stage through the Yorkshire Dales would be "challenging and stressful" while admitted he was "50-50" on the inclusion of cobbles, which he says will be "spectacular" for spectators but "dangerous for us".
Voigt's current team-mate Frank Schleck, set to ride alongside brother Andy for the new Trek Factory Team after returning from a doping ban, crashed out with a broken collarbone when the Tour last sampled the pave of northern France back in 2010.
Asked by Cyclingnews whether or not he expected the Schlecks to return to their previous level, Voigt was typically frank. "S*** yeah," he said - although, given Voigt's strong East German accent, he could well have been saying, matter-of-factly, "year" and not "yeah".
"Of course, I expect them to be back to their best. S*** yeah. That's my answer," Voigt added, in clarification.
One rider who will not be joining Jensie at the start in Leeds next July is former RadioShack team-mate and fellow German veteran Andreas Kloden, after the 38-year-old all-rounder decided to call time on a career dating back to the heady years of the 1990s.
Kloden was one of the peloton's most colourful characters - but in a typically understated way. Quiet and meticulous, Kloden was renowned for his dry wit and controversial views. He stopped representing Germany way back in 2006 after he felt he had been treated unfairly in the light of the T-Mobile doping controversies.
While many of his former team-mates at T-Mobile - the likes of Mattias Kessler, Alexandre Vinokourov, Patrick Sinkewitz and Eric Zabel - have all been tainted by their doping past, Kloden (like Jan Ullrich) still denies straying to the dark side.
Kloden last raced in Germany back in 2007 and in his latter years preferred to race under the flag of the European Union rather than the tricolour of the Bundesflagge. Klodi also famously had a spat with his RadioShack team when publicly lambasting a press release last year that suggested he "didn't have the legs" on a decisive climb.
The Twitter attack led to Kloden being given a social media ban - and perhaps explains the baffling personal entry on the RadioShack website, which claims: "2011 was one of his best seasons ever. Freed of his domestique duties and in the form of his life, he was forced out of the Tour de France through injury after a bad crash in the descent of the Col du Pas de Peyrol."
It is not yet known how he will spend his retirement but it has been suggested that Kloden will go back to the University of Frieberg to complete a sports medicine degree that he started via the Open University scheme back in 2006.