Tour de France 2016 route revealed

The 2016 Tour de France will be decided over 2,187 miles from Normandy’s iconic Mont-Saint-Michel to Paris.

The 21 stages feature 28 categorised climbs, and visits to Andorra, Spain and Switzerland, but also two individual time trials.

The race will return to Mont Ventoux on Bastille Day – 14 July – three years after defending champion Chris Froome’s famous victory there.

The 103rd Tour starts on Saturday, 2 July, and finishes on Sunday, 24 July.

Briton Froome will be delighted to see more time-trial miles on next year’s route than there were this year, when the only individual timed effort was the short opening stage in Utrecht.

The 2016 itinerary features a rolling 23-mile time trial on stage 13 and a tough 10.5-mile time trial to the Alpine ski resort of Megeve for the 18th stage.

But, as has become customary in modern Tours, there will also be much climbing in the Alps, Jura, Massif Central and Pyrenees, with the first mountain test coming as early as stage five.

That ride to Le Lioran, in the Massif Central, is the most challenging day in a relatively sprinter-friendly first week, which opens with a dash to Utah Beach that should put a pure sprinter in yellow for the third time in the past four years.

When asked if next year’s start looked easier than the stressful first week the riders endured in 2015, Froome said: “It looks that way but we can never be sure.

“The Tour de France is a stressful race.”

More soon.

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