The route of the final mountain stage of this year’s Tour de France has been thrown into doubt after a large chunk of road on the Aubisque collapsed following mudslides. With little more than a month before the race is due to pass through, local authorities in the Pyrenees are awaiting an estimate and technical proposals, but have also started to work with Tour de France organiser ASO on possible alternative routes.
On July 27, the 200.5km stage 19 route is due to take the riders from Lourdes to Laruns over the Col d’Aspin, the Col du Tourmalet and finally the Col d’Aubisque.
As stage 20 is a time trial and stage 21 is the traditional finish in Paris, the Aubisque represents the final opportunity for climbers to attack.
However, La République des Pyrénées reports that 50m of road were washed away on Wednesday night.
The newspaper reports that the difficulty will be to find rock to fix the road to again. RTM (Restoration of Mountain Terrain) will have to study and evaluate the area before any repair works can be carried out.
The road is currently closed and locals say it is not just the Tour route that is threatened, but the whole summer economy.