Full details of the 2019 Tour de France route will be unveiled in Paris on Thursday but photographs have emerged on social media of the new steeper, dirt-road finish on La Planche des Belles Filles, with the final kick up to the finish line at 24 per cent.
The climb in the Vosges is expected to be the first mountain-top finish of the 2019 Tour de France, coming on stage 6 next July.
The Tour de France has finished atop La Planche des Belles Filles three times. Chris Froome was the first winner on the steep climb in 2012, while Vincenzo Nibali won in 2014, and fellow Italian Fabio Aru was the latest in 2017.
Race organisers ASO have indicated the Tour de France will include more gravel sections after riders were given a taster on the Plateau des Glières on stage 10 this year and the dirt-road Cole delle Finestre proved decisive in the Giro d’Italia. ASO added dirt sections to this year’s Paris-Tours, and Tour de France technical director Thierry Gouvenou, who rides a gravel bike during his holidays, has promised more innovative race routes.
Cyclingnews will have full coverage of the presentation of the 2019 Tour de France route on Thursday, with stage maps, profiles and exclusive interviews from Paris.