Alpe d'Huez to replace Champs-Elysees as Tour de France 2013 finale?

Will the Tour de France 2013 end atop L'Alpe d'Huez instead of on the Champs Elysees in the heart of Paris? The rumoured stage with two trips up the legendary climb is now speculated to be the closing stage of the Tour next year, according to Belgian media. It would be the first time that the race would not finish in or near Paris.

Het Laatste Nieuws said on Sunday that numerous anonymous sources in the Amaury Sport Organisation, which organizes the Tour, had indicated that finishing the race at L'Alpe was under consideration.

Such an end to the Tour seems unlikely, for logistical reasons if nothing else. However, while the Champs Elysees is now considered a traditional finish, it has hosted the final stage of the Tour only since 1975. However, the race has always ended in or near Paris.

The official course of the 100th running of the Tour de France is scheduled for October 24 in Paris. It has already been announced that the race will start in Corsica, where three stages will be held, followed by a team time trial in Nice.

Last month, speculation was reported that the race would cover the Mount Ventoux, for the first time since 2009. It was also said that one stage might start in Gap, go up L'Alpe de Huez' famous 21 switchbacks, descend via the Col de Sarenne on roads which must still be asphalted, and then re-tackle the dreaded switchbacks for the stage – and now possibly race – finish.

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