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30.12.2016 @ 17:28 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The organizers of La Méditerranéenne have announced that the race will be reduced from four to only two stages, a road stage between Rians and Roquebrune sur Agens (163km) on Saturday, February 11 and a time trial in Saint Remy de Provence the next day. 


If it was planned that the race would take place over 4 days but the fact that the Republican Guard was unavailable due to a lack of manpower at that time forced organizers Jean-Luc Wrobel and André Martres to take the decision. The two stages initially planned in the Occitan region had to be canceled. For the moment, Romain Bardet is the main name announced for the race.


The first stage will be 163 kilometers long between Rians and Roquebrune-sur-Argens. The profile is announced as medium mountain, and the end of the stage should offer beautiful views of the Mediterranean. The finish will  beat the end of a straight line of 800 meters. Last year the third stage which finished in Pégomas, about forty kilometers from Roquebrune, offered a very good race. Andrei Grivko built his final victory on that day. 


After this first stage, the race will decided the next day with a time trial of 17.9 kilometers in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, with the course including the ascent of the famous Baux de Provence. The start will be given in front of the Ancient City of Glanum.


It will be the second edition of La Méditerranéenne which was born in 2016 on the remains of the Mediterranean Tour, a prestigious event which was canceled in 2015. The first edition was organized over four days with an opening team time trial in Spain, two stages in France and a final stage on a very difficult circuit in Bordighera (Italy). 


The decision comes days after the cancellation of the Tour of Qatar was announced which could have boosted the field for the French race. Unfortunately, the short race is now less attractive.


Last year the European Championships in Nice were canceled by the local authorities following the terrorst attack on July 14 before the European Union Cycling managed to find a replacement at the last minute. Plumelec hosted the race where Peter Sagan won the elite men’s title. 



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