Tour de France 2013 to start in Corsica, end with Champs Elysées sunset
Next year's Tour de France - the 100th - will start on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica and end at sunset on the Champs Elysées in Paris, organisers announced Wednesday. The world-famous race, tarnished by the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, will hope to dazzle with spectacular settings … and hard work by the cyclists.
Although rising crime and violence has obliged the government to take special measures in Corsica just this week, director Christian Prudhomme emphasised its physical beauty and the attractions of France, “the world’s most visited tourist destination”.
“From the first broadcast television viewers will soon understand while we’re starting in Corsica,” he said at the announcement of the route on Wednesday. “It will be extraordinarily beautiful, the mountain and the sea.”
The three days on the island, starting at Porto Vecchio on 29 June, are a first, as is the fact that there will be two climbs up the challenging Alpe d’Huez in the same stage.
And, for the first time in 10 years, the race will take place entirely on French territory, passing from Corsica to the Mediterranean coast, going on to the Pyrenees and then Brittany in the north-west, before going south again for more mountains in the Alps.
The cyclist will have to climb 28 cols.
If the weather obliges, the last day should be a fitting end, starting, as usual, at the château de Versailles and ending on what the French like to believe is the most beautiful street in the world, the Champs Elysées, as the sun goes down behind the Arc de Triomphe.
The last four winners - Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck, Cadel Evans and Bradley Wiggins - were present at the announcment of the route.
Lance Armstrong is believed not to have been invited.