The organisers of the Tour de France, the world’s most
prestigious cycling race, have revealed next year’s route, which differs hugely
to previous years’ courses and hopes to shake up the competition.
Each year the route incorporates a neighbouring country, and
in 2017 the race will set off from Dusseldorf in Germany, before meandering
through four countries for a total length of 2183 miles, ending with the grand
finale in Paris on July 23.
Race director Christian Prudhomme has made the decision to
add a number of steeper climbs throughout the race, with many of them featuring
in the early stages. Five of these climbs will be featuring in the Tour for the
first time ever. He hopes this move will limit the opportunities stronger teams
have to gain dominance early on, while rewarding more aggressive riders who are
looking to shake up the rankings. He told reporters: “We want to favour the
The decision has also been made to hold just four summit
finishes, though two of these occur in the first week, giving strong riders the
chance to make an early attack. Two short individual time trials will also take
place during the race, including the penultimate stage in Marseille.
For the first time in 25 years, this will mean that all five
of France’s mountain ranges will feature in the course: the Vosges, Pyrenees,
Alps, Massif Central and Jura ranges.
Many of the changes to the route have been made in order to
break the strong grip Team Sky in particular has had on the race in recent
years, having observed how their meticulously planned and executed group riding
has continued to dominate. Team Sky have won four of the last five Tours, with
their main man Chris Froome looking to claim his third victory in the 2017
edition. If you’re planning on heading roadside next year to witness
the world’s very best riders in action, book early to make sure you don’t miss
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