What do the fans think of the apparent proposal to finish off the 100th Tour de France in 2013 with two climbs of L'Alpe de Huez, instead of the usual procession into Paris? Cyclingnews asked the experts in its forum.
“Why not?” asked pedaling squares. “The Tour needs to break out of the mould it has built around itself, and replacing one legendary finish with another is a safe way to start. If time gaps were minimal before this stage and bonus seconds were available, it could be an amazing finish to three weeks of racing. Bring it on.”
And cineteq said, “I want to see a decisive stage at the end of the race, and if it's 2xAlpe then so be it. I'm tired of seeing a stage for sprinters on the last day. That's not to say that I don't love Les Champs but put that stage somewhere along the race but not at the end.”
TeamSkyFans had mixed feelings. “In one way I like it, nice climax to the tour, and certainly provides an exciting finish on the mountain for the fans who can get there and the GC contenders, and climbers.
"But the Tour's not just about them, the Tour is about the domestiques, the sprinters, the young riders, the ones who just dream of completing the Tour, and Paris is something special. Every rider who goes up the Champs Elysees is cheered on by the crowd.. The lap of honour is a chance for them to celebrate, greet their fans, say hello to family and friends along the route, take in the atmosphere of however many hundreds of thousands of fans are on the roadside, have their photos taken..
"Where will they do that on Alpe d'huez.. how the hell can they have a lap of honour...”
The tradition of the finish on the Champs Elysees was a major sticking point for many. Dutchsmurf said, “In my opinion some things shouldn't be changed. This sounds like a change just for the sake of changing something. I agree that Champs isn't as exciting to watch and will most of the times end in a sprint, but I somehow find that a fitting end to the Tour.”
“To me, the Tour has to end in Paris. It always has, and it always should. And recently, it has always ended on the Champs-Élysées. I am not in favour of ignoring that tradition for the 100th edition,” said Fus087. “Alpe d'Huez x2 isn't the most novel thing, but I can live with it. Just not on the last day. Make it a short-ish stage on the Saturday (we saw this year that short stages can be awesome too, even if that had special circumstances). Then, move everything to the capital.”
And some forum members pointed out a logistical problem. “If they do decide to do it then they must have barriers and army the whole way up - keep the crowds away or there will be little or no racing, if the ASO wants the world looking at drunk muppets running up the road next to riders as the last image non-cycling fans see then go for it, I really think it is a dumb idea not so much for the actual stage but what a circus it would produce,” said just some guy.
Or as sublimit said, “ The chaos of drunk Dutch/running Californian fans will **** the stage up X 2. Once up maybe is a decent idea during the race but twice on the final stage is a recipe for disaster.”
Have your say here.