Women's La Course race to finish on the Col d'Izoard in 2017

One-day race moves from the Champs Elysees to the Alps

There is no multi-day women's Tour de France in 2017 but organiser ASO has revealed that the one-day La Course race will be moved from the Champs Elysees and end, like the men's stage, on the Col d'Izoard in the high Alps.

La Course was created in 2014 and has helped boost women's cycling thanks to the Tour de France's global television coverage.

Marianne Vos, Anna van der Breggen and Chloe Hosking have won the sprint on the Champs Elysees but in 2017 the fourth edition will suit the best climbers who will have fought for victory in the recent Giro d'Italia.

La Course will cover the final 66km of the final mountain stage of the 2017 Tour de France.

The men will race 129km from Briançon, tackling the Col de Vars before the Col d'Izoard. The climb via the rocky Casse Déserte valley is 14.1km long at 7.3%. The women will only tackle the first 10km up to the Casse Déserte point. It is a historic point in the Tour de France, with the former Tour de France director Jaques Goddet describing it as a "harrowing trial which establishes the boundary between difficult and terrifying."

The Col d'Izoard has featured 34 times in the Tour de France with the likes of Gino Bartali, Fausto Coppi, Louison Bobet and Bernard Thévenet often caught in black and white images as they fought for victory in the moonlike landscape and near the towers of rock. The 10km climb used for La Course has a gradient over 9%.

It is the first time the Col d'Izoard has ever hosted a Tour de France mountain finish, with the men's stage also hosting the Etape sportive ride a week earlier on July 14. 

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