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"I counted six stages for sprinters. It's such a difficult parcours again, but there are more sprint opportunities than last year. Definitely, from a sprinter's perspective, it's super hard. We'll have to go full gas in...

Photo: Sirotti








20.10.2015 @ 16:19 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The official 2016 Le Tour de France presentation on Tuesday revealed a climber friendly, grueling 103rd edition. There will be no prologue or team time trial, though there will be an up-and-down 37km Stage 13 time trial, as well as a Stage 18 mountain time trial from Sallanches to Megève. There are also several stages for sprinters.


The 2016 Le Tour de France passes through the legendary Pyrenees, and also includes a Mont Ventoux summit finale on Stage 12, beginning in Montpellier. The peloton will also race in the Alps, as well as Bern (Switzerland), in the third and final week of the race. The last few stages of the race will likely be decisive for the GC in the mountains, including the 17km time trial.


Mark Cavendish, Tony Martin, and Zdenek Stybar attended the presentation in Paris for Etixx – Quick-Step.



"There are two time trials, and five or six sprint stages," Stybar said. "There is one stage that suits me perfectly, which is 2nd stage. There are a lot of mountains in this parcours. I have about 250 days to go and probably need to lose about 15 kilograms (laughs). But I think it will be really tough from day one. As for the presentation, it was a good experience and nice to be there. If I am to participate in the 2016 edition I will do my best to prepare for Le Tour and honor the race."


"I was happy to be at this presentation, and was looking for stages that could be my chance," Martin said. "I was looking for time trials or Classics style stages. There are two time trials, maybe one could be for me, even if it is difficult in profile and not a perfect fit. Another is a mountain time trial. The rest of Le Tour, there are chances for glory everywhere, even if there is a lot of climbing. The GC riders will be able to make a difference even in the first week. The first stage there may be a crosswind, but there are not really any Classics style stages in the 2016 Tour de France. The mountain stages look really hard, with climbs from the start for some of them. It maybe isn't the ideal Tour de France for a rider like me, but I am excited to see what my teammates and myself could do with this parcours next year."


"I counted six stages for sprinters," Cavendish said. "It's such a difficult parcours again, but there are more sprint opportunities than last year. Definitely, from a sprinter's perspective, it's super hard. We'll have to go full gas in the sprint days. You can't relax. So you look forward to the stages were it's flat, with a mountain at the end. But there's only one of them, and that one is Mont Ventoux. You can't go easy on Mont Ventoux anyway. So, the chance to relax is pretty limited. Even the time trials you have to push to make the time cut. There are a lot of stages with climbs from the beginning, so there will be a big gruppetto. In 2015 the gruppetto worked really well together. If that can carry on to 2016 then it should make it a little easier for us. I am sure, after 21 days, we'll all be really cooked again. But that's the beauty of Le Tour."



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