Tour de France 2013 route unveiled + video + Wiggo to support Froome?

Mont St Michel time trial, Bastille Day summit finish on the Ventoux, evening stage on the final day in Paris and twice up Alpe d'Huez in one day. Plus Wiggo to focus on Giro on 2013?

by Simon_MacMichael   October 24, 2012  

Tour de France route 2013

A first-ever visit to Corsica followed by a team time trial in Nice, an individual time trial ending at Mont Saint Michel, a Bastille Day summit finish on perhaps cycling's most evocative climb, Mont Ventoux and  a double ascent of the Alpe d'Huez - those are some of the highlights of next July's 100th edition of the Tour de France, unveiled in Paris today.

Four Tour winners were among the riders at the Palais de Congres at Porte Maillot as the parcours of next year's race was revealed - Andy Schleck, awarded the 2010 victory as a result of Alberto Contador's ban, the Spaniard himself, who retains his 2007 and 2009 titles, the 2011 victor, Cadel Evans and of course defending champion, Bradley Wiggins, the first British winner of the race.

Given events in Geneva on Monday, it was of course another man who stood seven times in yellow in front of the Arc de Triomphe whose ghost loomed large over today's proceedings.

But following a year in which eight of the ninety-nine editions of the race have seen the original winner's name erased from the record books, it's timely to be reminded that whatever anyone says, it is about the bike race, after all.

And what a race is in prospect. After three days on the island that produced France's grimpeur social par excellence, the Emperor Napoleon, it visits the three big cities of the country's Mediterranean coast - Nice, Marseille, and Montpellier.

1  Saturday, June 29th  Porto-Vecchio to Bastia 212 km
2  Sunday, June 30th    Bastia to Ajaccio 154 km
3  Monday, July 1st     Ajaccio to Calvi 145 km
4  Tuesday, July 2nd    Nice to Nice (TTT) 25 km
5  Wednesday, July 3rd  Cagnes-sur-Mer to Marseille 219 km
6  Thursday, July 4th   Aix-en-Provence to Montpellier 176 km
7  Friday, July 5th     Montpellier to Albi 205 km
8  Saturday, July 6th   Castres to Ax 3 Domaines 194 km
9  Sunday, July 7th     Saint-Girons to Bagnères-de-Bigorre 165 km
10 Tuesday, July 9th    Saint-Gildas-des-Bois to Saint-Malo 193 km
11 Wednesday, July 10th Avranches to Mont-Saint-Michel (ITT) 33 km
12 Thursday, July 11th  Fougères to Tours 218 km
13 Friday, July 12th    Tours to Saint-Amand-Montrond 173 km
14 Saturday, July 13th  Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule to Lyon 191 km
15 Sunday, July 14th    Givors to Mont Ventoux 242 km
16 Tuesday, July 16th   Vaison-la-Romaine to Gap 168 km
17 Wednesday, July 17th Embrun to Chorges (ITT) 32 km
18 Thursday, July 18th  Gap to Alpe-d’Huez 168 km
19 Friday, July 19th    Bourg-d’Oisans to Le Grand-Bornand 204 km
20 Saturday, July 20th  Annecy to Annecy – Semnoz 125 km
21 Sunday, July 21st    Versailles to Paris Champs-Élysées 118 km

With no prologue and Stage 1 predicted to end in a bunch sprint, you can be sure that Mark Cavendish will be looking to grab a rare opportunity to get into the one Grand Tour leader's jersey to have eluded him so far. He won't be the only sprinter with an eye on the maillot jaune, however.

Whoever takes the race lead on Stage 1 may struggle to keep it on Stage 2, however, with bumpy terrain as the race heads into the interior of the island. Indeed, it's entirely possible the jersey will change hands in each of the first four stages, the last of which features a potentially intriguing team time trial in Nice.

We've known for a while that Stage 5 would start in Cagnes-sur-Mer, but not that even prior to the Tour's visit next year the small seaside town to the west of Nice would already have sealed an infamous place in cycling history as the alleged home of the notorious 'motoman.'

You probably won't be able to move for fans getting their own souvenir USADA-style photo taken outside the Stars 'n' Bikes shop - we're thinking of taking along a black cardboard box with the word 'redacted' painted on it, sticking it on Tony's head and charging ten euro a time for a picture, then retiring to nearby Antibes on the proceeds.

After those visits to Marseille and Montpellier there's a couple of days in the Pyrenees, which come unusually early in the race, a summit finish at Ax-3-Domaines followed by a five-col, 165km romp from Saint-Girons to Bagneres de Bigorre. After the first rest day it then swings up towards Brittany for a stage finishes in the historic city of Saint Malo and an individual time trial that ends at one of France's most iconic historic monuments, the island monastery of Mont St Michel. Hopefully they've got the times of the tide correct.

The race then heads via Tours and Lyon to what should be an unmissable Bastille Day ascent of Mont Ventoux (the classic climb from Bedoin) on the second Sunday, also the longest stage of the 2013 race at 242km. Unusually, that's two separate visits to Provence next year. Then we're into the Alps for the closing week and the business end of the race.

Highlights of that final week include a mountain time trial from Embrun to Chorges – "The toughest ever Tour time trial" according to the organisers – followed by a mouthwatering double climb of the Alpe d'Huez on the stage from Gap – the second a summit finish – which should provide plenty of fireworks of the metaphorical kind ahead of the real ones that will greet the winner of the 100th Tour de France on the Champs-Elysees: The final stage in Paris will be an evening affair, and the laps of the Champs Elysées will include the Arc de Triomphe instead of stopping short of the famous monument.

Before that final stage though there's the last hurrah of the 2013 route, a short but painful stage around Annecy lake that ends with an 11km climb to the ski resort of Annecy-Semnoz; that climb could prove decisive if the GC is still tight after three weeks of racing. At an 8.5% average gradient it's certainly steep enough to open up the gaps.

The route was touted before its release as one that didn't particularly favour current maillot jaune holder Bradley Wiggins, and certainly there's a couple of stages – including twice up the Alpe – that he wouldn't relish. The final announced route doesn't look too bad for a rider like Wiggins, but so-far-unconfirmed reports from the launch suggest that his focus for next year will be the Giro d'Italia, and while he will start the 100th Tour he'll do so in a role reversal of last year, with last year's runner up Chris Froome taking up leadership of Team Sky for the race. Froome, who was riding at his best in France in 2012, often looked the stronger rider in the mountains although he lost ground to Wiggins in the time trials; next year's race has less individual distance against the clock and the second ITT stage, from Embrun to Chorges, promises to be a hilly and technical affair that won't favour the purer TTers. As such it's likelt to prove a more balanced parcours, with more reason to attack in the hills, and that could suit the punchier style of Froome better than Wiggins.

27 user comments

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I actually think they have have got the balance between testers who can climb and the outright climbers, it is an enticing prospect

posted by sam_bennett [54 posts]
24th October 2012 - 11:48

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Well, it certainly looks a bit more Wiggo friendly than the rumoured routes did.

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posted by jimmythecuckoo [1206 posts]
24th October 2012 - 11:53

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Looks Contador friendly as well...

Worried

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
24th October 2012 - 12:00

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Oh, goody goody! Which will be the transfusion days?

If unrepentant dopers like Contador are competing (Spain supports Lance), then they can could make the race for unicycles and my Eurosport subscription won't be renewed.

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posted by dullard [140 posts]
24th October 2012 - 12:18

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Looks like a vintage course although they clearly don't want Wiggo to win two years on the trot. Twice up the Alpe in one day? Yeesh.

Really like the idea of Wiggo riding in support of Froome next year. Would be fantastic to see a Brit challenging for the maglia rosa and if Froome could turn up to le Tour with fresh legs (as opposed to his knackered Vuelta legs), that could be amazeballs.

posted by Yennings [202 posts]
24th October 2012 - 13:56

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I thought there was only one way in and out of Alpe D'Huez, and that the fast climbers would be descending onto the slower ones...good thing I read the stage route! Is that climb on to Col De Sarenne on decent road or a goat track? Thinking

posted by LegsDontFailMeNow [6 posts]
24th October 2012 - 14:45

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LegsDontFailMeNow wrote:
I thought there was only one way in and out of Alpe D'Huez, and that the fast climbers would be descending onto the slower ones...good thing I read the stage route! Is that climb on to Col De Sarenne on decent road or a goat track? Thinking

Whatever it is, they've got time to make it into a proper road before July Big Grin I'm sure it won't be the first time the Tour has instigated a major road project.

Didn't last year's tour end on a bit of tarmac that had only been laid a few months before? The stage that Andy Schleck won from his solo breakaway possibly.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
24th October 2012 - 14:52

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currently the col de sarenne is very narrow and not a great surface, although it is tarmac. i expect they'll resurface it before the race

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7234 posts]
24th October 2012 - 14:56

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looks a bit like this

Screen Shot 2012-10-24 at 14.58.23.png
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posted by Dave Atkinson [7234 posts]
24th October 2012 - 14:57

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Indeed I rode the Col de Sarenne this june & its a wonderful climb, wouldn't want to go down it fast as the surface was pretty terrible. Lovely climb to do though. I'm sure I read somewhere that they were resurfacing though...

Carpe Diem ab absentis: seize the day off

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posted by Coodsta [95 posts]
24th October 2012 - 15:53

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Wiggins aiming for Giro.

Swift for Tour! Big Grin

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
24th October 2012 - 16:17

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Looks, and sounds, like a lovely climb!

Quote:
Didn't last year's tour end on a bit of tarmac that had only been laid a few months before?

I can well believe that. On the Etape Act I half the tunnel lights were out on the Galibier descent, but appeared to be shining brightly for the pros...

posted by LegsDontFailMeNow [6 posts]
24th October 2012 - 16:18

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With Wiggo gunning for the Giro this is right up the street for Froome. Cant wait for it to start with a Sky team climber / tt heavy.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2642 posts]
24th October 2012 - 16:37

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Any Tour that includes a finish at the top of Mont Ventoux is a good Tour in my book.

I overheard some people in a pub this lunchtime talking about taking the ferry to see the St Malo stage finish. They weren't terribly knowledgeable about cycling, just wanted to see Cavendish and Wiggins. It shows how much cycling has moved towards the mainstream, although it does mean having to book early to avoid disappointment.

posted by handlebarcam [527 posts]
24th October 2012 - 17:27

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Dave Atkinson wrote:
currently the col de sarenne is very narrow and not a great surface, although it is tarmac. i expect they'll resurface it before the race

As I hear it, work had already started some weeks ago.

posted by Matt_S [182 posts]
24th October 2012 - 17:29

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Only thing I have to do now is figure which stage[s] to watch live! Confused

Fran the Man

posted by Fran The Man [61 posts]
24th October 2012 - 17:29

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Fran The Man wrote:
Only thing I have to do now is figure which stage[s] to watch live! Confused

Easy, take all your annual leave in one go and watch it all, Simples Wink

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2642 posts]
24th October 2012 - 18:04

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if you've not seen this yet i present to you the new comedy duo:

Cavendish + Wiggo

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/video/wiggins-grilled-cavendish-tour-armst...

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posted by Brummmie [56 posts]
24th October 2012 - 18:26

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I descended the Col de la Sarenne this summerafter climbing Alpe d'Huez. Its very narrow and steep and the road surface is rubbish but no doubt they resurface it. A good descender could certainly get away on the Sarenne and stay away until the 2nd time up the Alpe

posted by mercer32 [35 posts]
24th October 2012 - 18:32

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I also descended Col de la Sarenne this summer. It was narrow & technical for the first part. The road surface was bumpy with lots of loose gravel. Once onto the surfaced road it's fast downhill all the way to Bourg D'Oisans. Cannot wait to see this stage next year

IMG_1872.jpg IMG_1874.jpg

posted by npd1972 [22 posts]
24th October 2012 - 20:41

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Corsica, Ventoux, Mont Saint-Michel and the return of the bizarrely fascinating TTT all point to a fabulous Tour in the making (though I'm a 'Pyrenees>Alps' person, so that's my only flicker of disappointment).

Agree that Contador will be the man to beat, though Froome, A. Schleck, and - why not? - Nibali will push him.

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posted by Ghedebrav [1005 posts]
24th October 2012 - 21:00

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Around the Arc De Triomphe as well. It's going to be class.

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [1013 posts]
24th October 2012 - 23:05

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The Col de Sarenne will need to be improved more for the cars than for the bikes. The tour usually has its own breakdown truck following the event, so nothing gets left behind (unless the breakdown truck breaks down, wonder if that's ever happened?)

If cycling is indeed a sport of self-abuse why aren't more cyclists sectioned under the mental health act?

posted by hairyairey [275 posts]
24th October 2012 - 23:07

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Also, on the subject of road building projects I am convinced some towns in France welcome the tour solely because they get their roads resurfaced.

If cycling is indeed a sport of self-abuse why aren't more cyclists sectioned under the mental health act?

posted by hairyairey [275 posts]
24th October 2012 - 23:12

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Quote:
Also, on the subject of road building projects I am convinced some towns in France welcome the tour solely because they get their roads resurfaced.

...who would pay for that though, the Tour organisers or the local council/taxpayers (I think the National Trust paid for the Box Hill resurfacing for the Olympics)?

Worth it of course if the local businesses recoup it on improved tourist revenue, during and for possibly years after the event .

posted by LegsDontFailMeNow [6 posts]
25th October 2012 - 9:35

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Just as well Wiggo is concentrating on the Giro as he would'nt stick with Contador on the climbs but Contador would or should be therabouts in the TT. Would have loved to have seen Wiggo in this years Vuelta to see how he fared against real climbers...personally, i think they would have destroyed him. Vuelta 2012, best Grand Tour for years to watch, next year has a lot to live up to!!!!

posted by Hopalongsteve [60 posts]
25th October 2012 - 19:03

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The only thing this TdF doesn't look, it's bike friendly. The TTT at Nice and the start of the 4th day in Cagnes sur mer are a disgrace. Nice is impossible to ride in. All cycle lanes are used as parking bay, and if you get caught on the Tram railway you are fined 35€. And as for Cagens sur mer, it is the ONLY town in France where the mayor has enforced a 10km/h speed limit on the cycle lane. And I mean really enforced, as in you have two coppers standing there with a speed gun catching "road criminals", but funnily enough no one hears about it in the news.

posted by juan [11 posts]
23rd November 2012 - 20:44

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