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2013 Tour de France to start in Corsica?

By:
Hedwig Kröner
Published:
September 18, 2009, 10:53 BST,
Updated:
September 18, 2009, 12:49 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, September 18, 2009
As last year, Christian Prudhomme will reveal the full Tour de France route details in the Palais des Congrès on late October

As last year, Christian Prudhomme will reveal the full Tour de France route details in the Palais des Congrès on late October

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Mediterranean island a candidate for Tour's 100th edition, possible return to Mont Ventoux

Three years from now, the Tour de France will be taking place for the 100th time, and race organiser Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) is bound to lay out a special itinerary for the celebration. The French press is already begun to speculate about a 'Grand Départ' - the start of the event - on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, the only French region that has not yet hosted a stage of the Tour throughout its history.

According to French newspaper Corse Matin, ASO officials will travel to Corsica for an official meeting from October 21-23 to discuss the logistical issues of taking the race to an island. The last time a Tour start began off the European mainland was in 2007, when the event commenced in London and the Tour caravan travelled back to France through the Channel tunnel. Travel to and from Corsica, however, would require ferry and air transport.

Moreover, security may also be an issue as separatist movements have been haunting the island for many years.

The 2013 Tour could also include Provence's famous Mont Ventoux again, which was last featured this year. The 'bald giant' is not visited by the race often, as event director Christian Prudhomme believes it would destroy its myth if it were to appear too frequently.

But editors of the French website Ventoux-Magazine.com are certain that the 100th edition of the race will include the fabled climb again, as Prudhomme and Claude Haut, president of the general counsel of Vaucluse, supposedly share an idea: a return to the Ventoux time trial. The race against the clock up the slopes of the 'windy mountain' only took place twice in the history of the event; the first time in 1958 (Charly Gaul won), and the last time in 1987 (victory of Jean-François Bernard).

The last time a summit finish time trial was held at the Tour de France was in 2004, when Lance Armstrong won on top of L'Alpe d'Huez.

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