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French media speculates on Tour route
Tour de France organisers may have a spectacular finish planned for the 2013 race, according to French media: a nighttime stage from Versailles to Paris, with the race around the Champs Elysées under spotlights.
It would be "A show that will delight the large audience for the finale of the most prestigious race in the world," according to the website of France Televisions, sport.francetv.fr. The official route is scheduled to be announced on Wednesday, October 24 in Paris.
As previously announced the race will start with three stage on Corsica, before moving to mainland Europe for a team time trial on Nice. Stops will then be made in Montpellier and Marseille, before two Pyrenees stages. "Two stages, between Castres and Ax-3 Domaines on the one hand, and Saint Girons to Bagneres-de-Bigorre on the other hand, will clarify the race before the transfer to Nantes and the much welcomed rest day on the second Monday of the Tour."
The second week will feature an individual time trial from Avranches to Mont-Saint-Michel, before taking the peloton "back down diagonally through Tours and Lyons before a final decisive week that looks very difficult."
Provence's Mont Ventoux will reportedly be climbed on the day before the second rest day. The third week will have a mountain time trial up Embrun, followed by the Gap to Alpe d'Huez stage, with two climbs of the feared and famous switchbacks on the latter climb. That will be followed by more stages in the Alps before moving back towards Paris and a possible nighttime finale.