18 ottobre 2015

The route of the Tour de France 2016

The route of the Tour de France 2016, presented this morning in Paris before an audience of almost 4,000 people, gives the strong men of the mountains opportunities spread over 17 days! Chris Froome, present at the Palais des Congrès to discover the map, can already start thinking about his strategy to defend his title…

The route of the tour de france 2016

There are still ways of changing perspectives, of giving already-known territories a new look. The riders in the 2016 Tour de France will certainly recognise certain places, for which they have their bearings. However, they will need to put their certainties aside to get to grips with a route inspired by the theory of scattering: “The mountain stages have been spread out between the 5th and the 20th stages, from the Massif Central to the Alps via the Pyrenees and the Jura. I am willing to bet that, once again, the intermediate mountain ranges will not just provide us with indicators. They will make the selection,” says Christian Prudhomme. After a series of sprints starting at the foot of Mont-Saint-Michel, difficulties will begin to arise half-way through the first week in the form of a passage through the French Department of Cantal and a finish in Le Lioran ski resort, where the favourites will have already had to play their hands. The Pyrenees stages won’t let the big guns of the Tour let up either as they will have to step up a gear up on the Andorran stage of Arcalis. The peloton will certainly deserve a day’s rest after such an effort.

A bit further down the road, the Alps stages will be preceded by an assault on Mont Ventoux on July 14th, a demanding time-trial stage in the Ardèche at Caverne de Pont d’Arc and high-percentage twisty sections around the Grand Colombier on the stage to Culoz. The final programme will take place with the dazzling and majestic Mont Blanc as a backdrop, especially because the mountain specialists will be tested to the limit. This will be the case on brutal mountain climbs like the one that leads to Finhaut-Emosson to complete the visit of Le Tour to Switzerland, or on a very unusual time-trial stage in the mountains between Sallanches and Megève. The acrobats will also be judged on their descending talents, which could make a difference up to the dive down to Morzine just 24 hours before the finish in Paris. Opportunities are almost everywhere, wherever the riders are willing to grab them...