Corsica Start, Moutainous And Prestigous Route Highlight 2013 Tour De France
Tour de France organizers unveiled the route of the 100th edition of the event Wednesday morning in Paris, according to LE PARISIEN. For the "first time in the history of the Tour," the riders will start from Corsica on June 29. The Mediterranean island will host the first three stages of the 2013 Tour (LE PARISIEN, 10/24). L'EQUIPE wrote that for its 100th edition, Tour organizers relied "on the elements that made the Tour legendary." The route is 100% in France, with passages through historical sites including the Mont-Saint-Michel and Versailles. But, "more importantly," it relies on the "mythical mountains of the Tour, which will be magnified for the occasion." The Mont Ventoux is back for the first time in three years and the Alpe d'Huez will be climbed on two consecutive days (L'EQUIPE, 10/24). LE MONDE reported that the last four winners of the Tour (Contador, Schleck, Evans, Wiggins) were present for the announcement. Tour Dir Christian Prudhomme said, "From the first minute of broadcasting, viewers will quickly understand why we are starting in Corsica. It will be extraordinarily beautiful, the mountains and the sea." The last stage will start in the park of the Palace of Versailles "before finishing in the most-famous avenue in the world" the Champs Elysees at dusk, with the podium ceremony being held at night (LE MONDE, 10/24).
A CLIMBER'S DREAM: REUTERS' Julien Pretot reported that next year's route is "expected to suit top climbers" with Spain's Alberto Contador and Briton Chris Froome the likely favorites. Defending champion Bradley Wiggins might find it "tough to contain the attackers throughout." Next summer's Tour will feature four mountaintop finishes and "some 65 km of individual time trial compared to this year's 101.4 km." Froome even suggested that Wiggins "could concentrate on the Giro d'Italia next year while he would be Team Sky's leader on the Tour" (REUTERS, 10/24). The London TELEGRAPH reported that Wiggins was asked at the ceremony if he would defend his title and responded with an answer that suggests he will play a supporting role for Froome instead. Wiggins said, "It's more than likely I'll ride in a supporting role for Chris. I just want to be in a successful team, and if that's Chris (who is going to be the leader) then so be it. He'll have to grow some sideburns though" (TELEGRAPH, 10/24).