Tour de France 2020 route includes ‘crazy’ new summit

The route of the Tour de France 2020 has been officially revealed today (Tuesday October 15), and is set to include the first “crazy gradient” summit to the Méribel station (Savoie) in almost 50 years.

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The 107th race is set to start in Nice on July 27 2020. The route was announced this morning on the official Facebook Page.

The route includes six gruelling summits, of which the most notable will be the Méribel station climb in the third week. The Tour has not stopped in Méribel for 47 years, and a tarmac road did not exist there until recently.

Thierry Gouvenou, director of the race route, said: “We are going to see [gradient] percentages of 15-20%. Especially for this narrow corner, even the car will struggle; we have to put it in first gear.

“We are entering a new world; a new way to climb high-altitude slopes, with crazy gradients...I think for the riders, it will be tough, because they will not be able to keep a regular rhythm. They will have to beat the slope as well as their opponents.”

The Tour de France route is worked out on foot, so that the team can judge the difficulty of the slope. This will be the first time that this particular Méribel route will be taken by the Tour, as the road was only recently tarmacked between Méribel and Courchevel.

Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour, said: “A summit with such steep slopes, and so high, has everything it needs to become a big meeting point in the Tour for decades to come.”

The road opened in July, and was tested by Tour officials in August. Yet, it was not created solely for the Tour.

Thierry Monin, mayor of Méribel station town Allues, said: “We created this ‘green lane’ firstly for cycling tourists. We hope that with the dynamism of the Tour de France, visits to the region will continue to increase.”

Before Méribel, the route will also include the Jura mountain range, with one stage finishing at the summit of the Grand Colombier on July 12 - just one week before the final stage ends in usual tradition on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

Following Méribel, there will be another 14 kilometres of climbing, towards the Col de la Loze summit via the Col de la Madeleine. It will follow an old, seven-kilometer mechanic lift route, rising to an altitude of up to 2,304 metres.

While the Col de la Madeleine is a usual route for the Tour, it will this year be accessed via the commune of Montgellafrey for the first time.

The top of these summits will include a 360 degree view of the Vanoise range, with Mont Blanc in the background.

The Tour de France 2020 stage by stage:

Stage 1 - 27/06/2020: Nice Moyen Pays > Nice (156 km - Flat)

Stage 2 - 28/06/2020: Nice Haut Pays > Nice (187 km - Mountain)

Stage 3 - 29/06/2020: Nice > Sisteron (198 km - Flat)

Stage 4 - 30/06/2020: Sisteron > Orcières-Merlette (157 km - Hilly)

Stage 5 - 1/07/2020: Gap > Privas (183 km - Flat)

Stage 6 - 2/07/2020: Le Teil > Mont Aigoual (191km - Hilly)

Stage 7 - 3/07/2020: Millau > Lavaur (168km - Flat)

Stage 8 - 4/07/2020: Cazères-sur-Garonne > Loudenvielle (140 km - Mountain)

Stage 9 - 5/07/2020: Pau > Laruns (154 km - Mountain)

REST in Charente-Maritime

Stage 10 - 7/07/2020: Île d'Oléron Le Château-d'Oléron > Île de Ré Saint-Martin-de-Ré (170 km - Flat)

Stage 11 - 8/07/2020: Châtelaillon-Plage > Poitiers (167 km - Flat)

Stage 12 - 9/07/2020: Chauvigny > Sarran Corrèze (218 km - Hilly)

Stage 13 - 10/07/2020: Châtel-Guyon > Puy Mary Cantal (191 km - Mountain)

Stage 14 - 11/07/2020: Clermont-Ferrand > Lyon (197 km - Flat)

Stage 15 - 12/07/2020: Lyon > Grand Colombier (175 km - Mountain)

REST in Isère

Stage 16 - 14/07/2020: La Tour-du-Pin > Villard-de-Lans (164 km - Mountain)

Stage 17 - 15/07/2020: Grenoble > Méribel Col de la Loze (168 km - Mountain)

Stage 18 - 16/07/2020: Méribel > La Roche-sur-Foron (168 km - Mountain)

Stage 19 - 17/07/2020: Bourg-en-Bresse > Champagnole (160 km - Flat)

Stage 20 - 18/07/2020: Lure > La Planche des Belles Filles (36 km - Individual time-trial)

Stage 21 - 19/07/2020: Mantes-la-Jolie > Paris Champs-Élysées (122 km - Flat)

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