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Prudhomme to change green jersey competition for Tour de France

During a brief visit to Sydney this week Christian Prudhomme hinted that the first week of next year's Tour de France will be an almost entirely flat affair with just two stages offering points toward the mountains classification.

The race will once again remember the centenary of world war one, as it did this year, with Prudhomme suggesting that the race will visit Villers Bretonneux, which was the site of the world's first battle between two tank forces in 1918.

Prudhomme did confirm that there will be changes to the points classification in 2015, telling Cyclingnews that, "there will be a change, I don't know exactly yet, but there will be a change."

The route for the 2015 edition of the race will be unveiled on October 22 in Paris.

It was during a soirée at the Alliance Francaise that Cyclingnews, along with our new correspondent Rupert Guinness, spoke to Prudhomme and asked him what his defining moments of the 2014 Tour were.

"The first scene just before the start and during the days in Yorkshire, it was just ... unbelievable," Prudhomme said. "It was huge. It was massive. It was beyond all our expectations so the first image for me, the huge crowds, and the unbelievable passion for the Tour on every fan’s face.

"In terms in sport, I loved stage two in Yorkshire," he added, pointing to the stage when overall winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) won and pulled on the yellow jersey for the first time.

"The cobbled stage was very, very... How can I say? magnifique. It was important for the Tour as in 2010 there was the sun and dust, and in 2014 with the rain and mud, it was for the legends. I think that afterwards, the riders would have the same idea…that they are the legends.

"I also liked the Vosges, the three stages, even if the third day was [Alberto] Contador's fall. I was very happy with the Tour."

While highlighting individual stages, Prudhomme added that the success of the French in their home Grand Tour was encouraging, particularly as next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the last French overall winner, five-time winner Bernard Hinault.

"It was very important to have two French riders on the podium for the first time in 30 years," he said of Jean-Christophe Péraud (Ag2r) and Thibaut Pinot ( who were second and third respectively.

"As we say, 'loin des yeux, loin du cœur' - 'far from the eyes far from the heart' - and if you don't have for many years riders competing for the general classification there is a risk that the fans are less likely to attend the race. So it's important [to have them do well]."

In December, Gary Verity – the man who led the Yorkshire bid - is getting married with Prudhomme as the best man. The event will also be an opportunity for the two to finalise the ASO three-day Tour of Yorkshire race which is set to debut in 2015.

Prudhomme explained that race planning is going according to plan and he looking forward to returning to England.

"Everything is good and I hope that it will be on the calendar in May because Yorkshire is gorgeous and the dales for sure, but the coast of Scarborough is magnificent."

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