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Tour de France 2013

The route for the 100th Tour de France was unveiled yesterday at the Paris Convention Centre, in front of an audience of 4,000 people; as had already been widely rumored the historic centenary edition will me a monster of a climb with the kind of hills likely to rule out a second consecutive overall win for Bradley Wiggins. Indeed Wiggins has already declared it ‘more than likely’ he will play a supporting role to team mate Chris Froome and concentrate instead on winning at the more fitting Giro d’Italia (set in include more than 90km of time trial), saying simply, ‘I just want to be in a successful team.’


The 2013 Tour de France will begin, as was already known, on Corsica (June 29) with three days of racing over 511km before moving to mainland France for the first time trial – the team effort in Nice of 25km. The two subsequent (individual) time trials are set for Stage 11 (Avranches – Mont St Michel, 33km) and Stage 17 (Embrun – Chorges, 32km), a total of 65km down from the 100km of this year. The finish, as has been traditional for many years, will take place on the Champs-Elysees in Paris (July 21) after 3,360km of racing; with the twist for this celebratory edition being that not only will riders go all the way to the top of the famous boulevard and circle the Arc de Triomphe, but their arrival is to be timed for twilight too.


But it is without doubt the climbs that will define the 2013 edition; although the rumors that the TdF would finish atop l’Alpe d’Huez rather than in Paris proved – naturally enough – unfounded, the beast will still have to be tackled twice during the 168km Stage 18, and the legendary Mont Ventoux makes a welcome (!) appearance once more for 2013. Adding to the tough mix next year will be four summit finishes, not least of which is likely to be the penultimate stage’s ascent to Semnoz where the entire TdF could be won or lost.


The full TdF 2013 route is:


Stage 1 (June 29) Porto Vecchio – Bastia, 212km

Stage 2 (June 30) Basta – Ajaccio, 154km

Stage 3 (July 1) Ajaccio – Calvi, 145km

Stage 4 (July 2) Nice – Nice (TTT) 25km

Stage 5 (July 3) Cagnes sur Mer – Marseille, 219km

Stage 6 (July 4) Aix en Provence – Montpellier, 176km

Stage 7 (July 5) Montpellier – Albi, 205km

Stage 8 (July 6) Castres – Ax 3 Domaines, 194km

Stage 9 (July 7) St Girons – Bagneres de Bigorre, 165km

Rest Day

Stage 10 (July 9) St Gildas des Bois – St Malo, 193km

Stage 11 (July 10) Avranches – Mont St Michel (ITT) 33km

Stage 12 (July 11) Fougeres – Tours, 218km

Stage 13 (July 12) Tours – St Amand Montrond, 173km

Stage 14 (July 13) St Pourain sur Sioule – Lyon, 191km

Stage 15 (July 14) Givors – Mont Ventoux, 242km

Rest Day

Stage 16 (July 16) Vaison la Romaine – Gap, 168km

Stage 17 (July 17) Embrun – Chorges (ITT) 32km

Stage 18 (July 18) Gap – Alpe d’Huez, 168km

Stage 19 (July 19) Bourg d’Oisans – Le Grand Bornand, 204km

Stage 20 (July 20) Annecy – Annecy Semnoz, 125km

Stage 21(July 21) Versailles – Paris



Tour de France. Without Paris?

Mon Dieu! Could it be true? The 2013 Tour de France will forsake the traditional Champs Elysees finish in favour of an all-new climax atop L’Alpe d’Huez. Well, that’s the rumour which has begun to circulate after claims in Belgian’s Het Laatste Nieuws at the weekend which claimed that unnamed (there’s a surprise) individuals at Amaury Sport Organisation, the organisers of the TdF, had indicated that a change of finish was being considered and that a punishing summit finale in the Rhône-Alpes region was in the frame. Frankly it’s hard to believe; not only would it prove logistically challenging and dramatically reduce the number of spectators able to cheer home the riders, but the 2013 race is also the 100th edition and celebrating that anywhere but in the heart of Paris is almost unthinkable.


There have also been somewhat more believable rumours that next year’s TdF will include the legendary Mount Ventoux climb for the first time in four years. What is known is that the race will begin in Corsica, but until the full route and schedule is announced on October 24 everything else is pure speculation.



Corsica to Host TdF

corsicaThe Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), organisers of the Tour de France, have announced that the opening stages of the 2013 event will be held on Corsica, marking the first time that the most celebrated pro cycling race in the world has laid track on the tiny Mediterranean island. In December 2010 rumours had begun to circulate that Corsica might host the Grand Départ after a Dutch website leaked details of Corsican Assembly documents setting out a proposed budget of €2 million for hosting what would be the TdF’s 100th Edition and suggesting that the three days of competition would include visits to the cities of Bastia, Ajaccio, Calvi and Porto-Vecchio. However full, confirmed, details of the routes have yet to be announced by the ASO who plan to make these public at a press conference on December 6.


The last time that the Grand Départ was staged away from mainland Europe was in 2007 when London presided over the honours.