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2016 Tour de France presented in Paris

The ASO revealed the route of the 2016 Tour de France Tuesday in Paris, presenting another balanced Grand Tour that is perhaps less demanding than the Giro d’Italia and tilted towards the climbers.

Chris Froome (Great Britain/Sky) intends on defending his title from 2015’s runner-up Nairo Quintana (Colombia/Movistar), recent Vuelta a España winner Fabio Aru (Italy/Astana) and two-time champions Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) in the Spaniard’s final season.


– counterclockwise around France with visits to Andorra and Switzerland
– two individual time trials of 37 and 17-km, the former hilly, the latter an mild uphill chrono
– four summit finishes: Androrra Arcalis, Mont Ventoux, Megève and Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc
– 28 categorized climbs
– plenty of stages for the sprinters

The race begins on July 2 in the Manche region at Mont-Saint-Michel, with the first stage finishing at Utah Beach in Normandy. An uphill finish greets the riders in Cherbourg the next day. Heading south, the first mountainous stage comes on Stage 5, with another uphill kick to Le Lioran in the Massif Central.

The first high mountains are the Pyrenees, where old favourites like the Col d’Aspin, Tourmalet and the Peyresourde await the peloton. But the first summit finish of the 103rd edition comes in Andorra on Stage 9 with the Arcalis climb, 18-km of 7.2%.

After the first rest day the Pyrenees aren’t quite done with the riders, as the Port d’Envalira ascent at the start of Stage 10 is the race’s highest point. What some are calling the queen stage, Stage 12, ends on the mighty Mont Ventoux, 15.7-km of 8.8% in a barren landscape.

The next challenge comes the following day, with a 37-km individual time trial containing two climbs, 7-km at 5.5% and 3.5-km at 6%. There are two sprinters’ days before the final rest day, but with a very climb-y day in the Jura Mountains wedged into between them.

The final week is five stages long, with a summit finish on 10.4-km, 8.4% Finhaut-Emosson in the Swiss Alps to kick things off. Stage 18’s uphill time trial the next day has a stiff 2.5-km section of 9.4% after 4.5-km of flat roads and then slackens after that, with a two-kilometre descent into Megève.

The final summit finish on Stage 19 comes after three climbs including the nasty Montée de Bisanne. However, Stage 19’s climax on Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc may not be the final showdown for the GC men, as the next day has the Joux-Plane as the last climb of the race. It peaks 12-km before the kick-up finish in Morzine.

The 2016 Tour de France finishes on Champs-Élysées on July 24.