It’s kind of tradition now, so I thought I’d throw up next year’s TdF route for your viewing pleasure. I haven’t had time to digest much yet because we’ve been scrambling to get our Etape du Tour webpage up and running (also announced today) and people signed up for our tour.
I think I heard on the radio that this will be the first time in 25 years that the Tour de France visits all 5 of the country’s mountain ranges (can you name them?), which would indicate a ‘climber’s Tour’, but there are fewer mountainous stages of the ‘epic’ variety, it looks like, which could lead to Christian Prudhomme’s wish of more ‘long range attacks’.
There is one giant stage that crosses the Croix de Fer and Galibier and has nearly 5000 meters of climbing, followed the next day by Briançon – Col d’Izoard, which is going to be next year’s Etape du Tour. If you’re thinking about doing this event, it’s going to be 120 km of hard-riding lumpiness before you even hit the first climb – Col de Vars, with a mighty-tough climb of the south side of Izoard seeing the traditional ‘walking in socks’ moments.
Finally, the very last stage of any significance for the overall will be right down the road from me in on of my favorite cities in France – Marseille. If we’re not running a tour, I plan to be there, pastis in hand.