Tour de France 2018 will be a massive challenge

Chris Froome

Froome became the third man to complete the Tour de France-Vuelta double in the same year by winning the races in 2017

Chris Froome says he faces a “massive challenge” to win his fifth Tour de France, as the route for the 2018 race was announced on Tuesday.

The 105th edition will run from 7 to 29 July and be the shortest route of the 21st century, covering 3,329km.

It will start with a 195km stage from Noirmoutier-en-L’ile and stage nine will include 21.7km of cobbled road.

There is a return for the famous climb and finish up Alpe d’Huez on stage 12 and the shortest stage will be 65km.

Stage three will be a team time trial and the penultimate stage could be a potentially crucial hilly individual time trial from Saint-Pee-sur-Nivelle to Espelette.

“I wouldn’t expect anything different from the organisers,” said the 32-year-old, who has won the Tour in four of the last five years.

“It is a massive challenge for next year and a Tour de France that tests every aspect of cycling.”

Only 15km of the race will take place outside France, when it goes into Spain on stage 16.

“We especially wanted to emphasise stage variety and the routes that may prove decisive, whilst combining legendary climbs with brand-new ascensions or ultra-dynamic formats, to provide a vision of modern and inspired cycling,” said Tour director Christian Prudhomme.

At the announcement of the route, Froome was awarded the 2017 Velo d’Or – the Velo magazine rider of the year prize – for the third time after also claiming it in 2013 and 2015.

It is recognition of becoming the third man to win the Tour and Vuelta a Espana in the same year.

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The 2018 Tour de France route

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/41649703

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