Tour de France 2016 route revealed

Mont Ventoux returns but no cobbles as course unveiled in Paris

A return to Mont Ventoux , detours into Andorra and Switzerland and a mountain time trial are the headline features of the 2016 Tour de France route.

Unveiled at the Palais des-Congres, the full route for the 103rd edition of the race also includes a 37km individual time trial in the second week but does not feature any cobbles.

The 2016 Tour de France route features two time trials and detours into Andorra and Switzerland

Organisers ASO had already confirmed the race would roll out from Mont-Saint-Michel on Saturday July 2, in the Manche department of Normandy, which hosted an individual time trial in 2013.

This time, however, like in 2013 and 2014, the race will start with a 188km road stage where the sprinters will vie for the opportunity to pull on the first yellow jersey – potentially offering Britain’s 26-time stage winner Mark Cavendish the chance to finally wear the maillot jaune.

The race spends three days in Normandy, including a hill-top finale on stage two in Cherbourg, before heading south.

A summit finish at the Le Lioran ski resort on stage five is then set to provide an early form finder for the climbers ahead of the true mountain tests to come.

Those mountain tests include passages of the Col d’Aspin and Col de Peyresourde in the Pyrenees in the first week before the already-publicised summit finish on Mont Ventoux on stage 12

Ventoux is sandwiched by stages in the Pyrenees – including three days in Andorra – and the Alps, which includes a venture into Switzerland.

Related reading: Demanding Etape du Tour 2016 sportive route unveiled

The Andorran climb of Arcalis concludes stage nine, the final stage ahead of the first rest day, and the 18km ascent with an average gradient of 5.2 per cent is set to shake-up the race.

Ventoux aside – which will feature on Bastille Day, just as it did in 2013 when Chris Froome won the stage in the yellow jersey – the highlight of the second week is the individual time trial.

Racing from Bourg Saint Andeol to Vallon Pont d’Arc, the 37km stage will suit the likes of defending champion Froome and Alberto Contador, the latter racing the Tour for the final time next year.

The peloton then heads towards the Alps, with stage finishes in Bern and Finhaunt-Emosson in Switzerland.

Finhaunt-Emosson hosted a stage finish at the 2015 Criterium du Dauphine, and the idyllic but brutal climb is set to be another highlight of this year’s race.

A mountain time trial will then allow some of the pure climbers to shine against the clock, before a summit finish to Saint-Gervais-Mont-Blanc, another stage tested in the Dauphine in 2015.

The penultimate stage takes the peloton to the ski resort Morzine, with the brutal slopes of the Col de Joux-Plane awaiting en-route – the same course awaiting riders on the Etape du Tour sportive – before the traditional ride into Paris and stage finish on the Champs-Elysees concludes the race.

The presentation was introduced by Jean-Etienne Amaury, with the route delivered by Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme and the likes of Froome and Cavendish among the star-studded guests.

Tour de France 2016: route

Saturday July 2: stage one – Mont-Saint-Michel to Utah Beach/Sainte-Marie-Du-Mont, 188km
Sunday July 3: stage two – Saint-Lo to Cherbourg-Octeville, 182km
Monday July 4: stage three – Granville to Angers, 222km
Tuesday July 5: stage four – Saumur to Limoges, 232km
Wednesday July 6: stage five – Limoges to Le Lioran, 216km summit finish
Thursday July 7: stage six – Arpajon-sur-Cere to Montauban, 187km
Friday July 8: stage seven – L’Isle-Jourdain to Lac de Payolle, 162km
Saturday July 9: stage eight – Pau to Bagneres-de-Luchon, 183km
Sunday July 10: stage nine – Vielha Val d’Aran (ESP) – Vielha to Arcalis (AND), 184km summit finish
Monday July 11: rest day
Tuesday July 12: stage ten – Escaldes-Engordany (AND) to Revel, 198km
Wednesday July 13: stage 11 – Carcassonne to Montpellier, 164km
Thursday July 14: stage 12 – Montpellier to Mont Ventoux, 185km summit finish
Friday July 15: stage 13 – Bourg Saint Andeol to La Caverne Pont d’Arc, 37km individual time trial
Saturday July 16: stage 14 – Montelimar to Villars-les-Dombes, 208km
Sunday July 17: stage 15 – Bourg-en-Bresse to Culoz, 159km
Monday July 18: stage 16 – Moirans-en-Montagne to Bern (SUI), 206km
Tuesday July 19: rest day
Wednesday July 20: stage 17 – Bern (SUI) to Finhaunt-Emosson (SUI), 184km
Thursday July 21: stage 18 – Sallanches to Megeve, 17km individual time trial
Friday July 22: stage 19 – Albertville to Saint-Gervais-Mont-Blanc, 146km summit finish
Saturday July 23: stage 20 – Megeve to Morzine, 146km
Sunday July 24: stage 21 – Chantilly to Champs-Elysees (Paris), 113km

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