Last week on the radio, I talked about rumors and speculation, as to what the 2016 Tour de France race route might look like. I mentioned that there are a few things that we know for sure at this point…
- As has been the case since 1975…the race will finish on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
- The race will start on Saturday, July 2 at the foot of Mont Saint-Michel…
- The race will remain in that section of the country for 3 days.
- The race will run clockwise around France. It went counter-clockwise in 2015…and they change direction each year. So, 2016 should be in a clockwise direction.
Beyond that, I said that the race is all a big mystery…with a little speculation…and a few rumors.
Well, until yesterday!
Yesterday was the day that cycling fans around the world have been waiting patiently for, since the race ended in July of this year. Yesterday was the day that the 2016 route was announced…and I’m happy to say that I was at least partially correct in my predictions.
Yes – the race will finish on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Sunday, July 24
Yes – the race will start at the foot of Mont Saint-Michel on Saturday, July 2
On the next point – I was mostly correct. The first two days of the tour will be in northwest portion of the country known as La Manche…and the third day starts there…but leaves that part of the country and finishes in Angers.
On my final point – I was completely WRONG! Not sure how I was wrong – it should have been pretty easy to look at the 2015 route and see that it went in a clockwise direction around the country, but I went from memory…and apparently I’m getting old and not remembering things properly. The 2015 race went clockwise…so in 2016 the race will go in a counter-clockwise direction.
After leaving La Manche…the race heads south for a couple days before hitting the Pyrenees Mountains on stage seven. Next year’s trip through the Alps includes the famed Mont Ventoux climb. The 2016 edition of the Tour de France also includes visits to three neighboring countries…Spain…the Principality of Andorra…and Switzerland.
Overall, there are nine flat stages…one hilly stage…nine mountain stages, including four summit finishes…two individual time-trials…and two rest days…before finishing on the Champs-Elysees in Paris!
Learn more about the 2016 Tour de France on the official le Tour website.