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"The organisation has put together a fantastic show with a review of the Tour from this year and a preview of the route of 2016. The Tour seems to be composed evenly with more sprint opportunities than last year."

Photo: Sirotti






21.10.2015 @ 10:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Yesterday the route of the 103rd edition of the Tour de France was presented at the “Palais des Congrès” in Paris. With big interest from among others André Greipel, Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish, the stages were discussed extensively. With a Grand Departure at Mont-Saint-Michel, an almost forty kilometres long time trial and a stage finish on top of the Mont Ventoux, it promises to be a spectacle again.


For the time trial specialists, the 2016 route is more favorable. After the 13.8 individual time trial kilometres of last year, they can show their skills on the 37 kilometres long time trial between Bourg-Saint-Andéol and Vallon Pont d’Arc. In the last week, the uphill time trial from Sallanches to Megève can be a turning point in the race.


This year, the riders will ride counter clockwise through France, with first a passage through the Pyrenees before the peloton heads to the Alps. On the 14th of July – Bastille Day – the finish of the twelfth stage will be on the top of the legendary Mont Ventoux. With four mountain stages in a row, the peloton will have the hardest days in the Alps. With 232 kilometres, stage four is the longest of next year’s Tour.


Also the sprinters get their chances to fight for glory with six or seven sprint stages neatly spread over the three weeks. André Greipel looks forward to the 2016 Tour and hopes to repeat his 2015 successes.


“It’s my first time that I’m attending a Tour de France presentation," he said. "It’s an honour to be a part of the presentation together with all these great riders. The organisation has put together a fantastic show with a review of the Tour from this year and a preview of the route of 2016. The Tour seems to be composed evenly with more sprint opportunities than last year.


“Just like the Grand Depart in Corsica (2013) and Yorkshire (2014), we start with a flat stage which is the ideal chance for sprinters to take the yellow jersey. I really look forward to that and also to the remainder of the first week where there are a few sprint opportunities. Hopefully we get five bunch sprints, but that depends on how the race evolves. Not every stage that is suitable for a sprint finish, ends in a bunch sprint. For example, the wind could play a role already in the first stage.


"What draws my attention as a non-climber, are the four stages where we start the day with a climb. On such days, it’s a matter of suffering and trying to finish within the time limit. As a sprinter, I’m not looking forward to these days.


“Next to the opening stage, there are some traditional sprint finishes like Montpellier (where Greipel won in 2013) and the Champs-Elysées (victory in 2015) where I’d like to win again. It’s still early to speak about contenders, given that the start of the Tour is still a long time from now. If all the best sprinters are there, then we will have some nice sprinting duels.


“Last year it was an exceptionally good Tour for me. It will be difficult to match the four stage victories and the several days in the green jersey. The goal for next year is to win a stage again; the faster, the better. After the first win, the pressure is off and there will be new opportunities for a stage win. Also the chances to win the green jersey depend on this. But the yellow jersey on day one is an unique chance and a goal on its own.”



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