Manche start for Tour de France

Organisers reveal Normandy department will host its first Grand Départ – with all eyes on Mont-Saint-Michel

THE world’s No1 cycle race the Tour de France will start from Manche department in 2016, the first time it has hosted a Grand Départ.

Further details of the race – and which town it will start in – will be given early next month when a press conference has been organised at Mont-Saint-Michel. There are hopes that the historic Unesco heritage monument will feature again, as it did in a time trial in 2013.

This is the first mainland start for the Tour since 2011, when it started in the Vendée, and since then it has started in Liège in 2012 , then Corsica for the 100th race in 2013 and earlier this year in Yorkshire. Next year’s Tour starts in Utrecht, Holland.

Although the Grand Départ town will be known next month - many people are looking towards Cherbourg, the largest town in Manche, while Saint-Lô is the prefecture – it will not be until October next year that the full 2016 route is revealed.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme is likely to reveal some details of the first stages after the start but speculation surrounds the rest of the route – whether the racers will head directly for the Pyrenees or head for the Alps first.

December’s Connexion has an exclusive interview with Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme, where he talks about the enormous success of the Yorkshire start this year and how the Tour stages are chosen. Find us from Saturday at newsagents across France. Use to find your nearest stockist – or click here to download a pdf version now for €3.50.
Photo: Jejecam CC BY-SA 3.0