Passing near you? Tour de France 2018 route revealed
The official route for the 2018 Tour de France has been revealed, with the “Grand Départ” (Big Start) beginning in the Vendée, Pays de la Loire.
The famous cycling race - which will be in its 105th year, and cover 3,300km in total - will take place from July 7-29; pushed a week later than usual in a bid to not conflict with the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
It will be the sixth time that the Vendée has been the starting point.
The route - which was announced at lunchtime today (Tuesday) - will cover two major sections - the first from the north-west ranging to the north, before the riders fly south to Annecy to complete the south-east to south-west section. They will then fly back up to Paris, to complete the final stretch in the capital.
There will be 21 stages in total, including cobblestones, dirt roads and three mountain finishes. There will also be two time trials along the route.
Beginning in Noirmoutier-en-l’Ile, it with then continue to Fontenay-Le-Comte, before hitting La Roche-sur-Yon, Sarzeau, Lorient, Quimper in the west, and Brest.
From there, it will travel to Mȗr de Bretagne, taking in Chartres, Amiens, Arras and Roubaix.
A flight will then connect to Annecy, with the race then including Le Grand-Bornand, La Rosière and Alpe d’Huez in the east. The route will then travel further south, to Valence, Mende, and Carcassonne, taking in Bagnères-de-Luchon, Saint-Lary-Soulan, Lourdes, Pau, and Espelette in the south-west. Carcassonne will also be a rest town (ville repos), giving riders a rare recovery break halfway through.
A final flight will then take the teams back up north to Paris, where the route will travel from Houilles, with the traditional ride into the capital’s centre via the Champs-Elysées on July 29.
The Tour de France first began in 1903, and is known for being one of the most prestigious and challenging professional road bike races in the world.
“It is a source of great pride to welcome the Tour again for the sixth time,” stated Yves Auvinet, president of the departmental council of the Vendée. “It’s a unique record for us. Between earth and sea, the double heart of the Vendée beats together, to the rhythm of these great events. The Tour de France is no exception.”
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