Etape du Tour 2016 route modified due to rock falls

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Etape du Tour 2016 route modified due to rock falls on Col de la Ramaz

Penultimate climb and descent removed from route; decision still to be made on Tour de France stage 20

Rock falls on the descent of the Col de la Ramaz have led to the modification of the 2016 Etape du Tour route, with sportive riders now facing one less mountain pass this Sunday (July 10).

While the route – shortened from 146.5km to 122km – still packs in 2,873m of climbing, the removal of the Col de la Ramaz means there are only three climbs to tackle between Megeve and Morzine, rather than four.

The Etape du Tour route has been modified due to rock falls on the Col de la Ramaz; the climb and descent have now been removed from the course (Pic: ASO)

The Col des Aravis (6.7km at 7 per cent), Col de la Colombiere (11.7km at 5.8 per cent) and Col de Joux Plane (11.6km at 8.5 per cent) remain on the parcours, but the Col de la Ramaz (13.9km at 7.1 per cent), which was due to be the penultimate climb, has been removed, eliminating a significant hurdle from the route.

The route will now follow a valley road from the bottom of the descent of the Col de la Colombiere in Meussy, to Tangines, where riders will re-join the original course before the start of the final climb, the Col de Joux Plane, in Sameons.

Start times remain the same for the event, which will see thousands of sportive riders head to France to tackle what was the route for stage 20 of the Tour de France.

Stage 20 will take place on Saturday July 23 and the pro peloton may still have to tackle the Col de la Ramaz, with the unique logistical challenge of a sportive resulting in the change of route for this weekend.

Thousands of riders will take to the Etape du Tour start line on Sunday (Pic: Pierre Alessandri/Etape du Tour)

Organisers ASO said: “Although the area has been secured for motorized traffic with automatic traffic lights which are activated in the event that rocks fall, the passage of 15,000 cyclists for several hours represents an additional risk.

“For the 20th stage of the Tour de France, which will be held on July 23, ten days after l’Etape du Tour, a decision will be made the day before it takes place, according to how the situation has evolved.”

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