The final stage of the Tour de France in 2013 may not be for the sprinters on the Champs Elysees, but the climbers showing their toughness by climbing L'Alpe d'Huez not once, but twice.
What sounds like a nightmare for Cavendish and Co. is under consideration for the 100th running of the Tour, according to Belgian media.
Het Nieuwsblad reports that “editors have learned from good sources” that “there is currently a project on the table for a final stage where the Great Alp would be climbed twice."
The stage would start in Bourg d'Oisans and ride up l'Alpe de Huez as usual, with all 21 hairpin turns. However, they would not go all the way to the usual finish. “Just before the resort is a trail, where they would turn right to descend on a narrow road which is currently mainly used by locals,” the newspaper said.
And after reaching the bottom, what else is there to do but go back up? The riders would then head back to the top of the mountain, probably not setting any speed records with their tired legs.
So far only the first few stages of the 2013 Tour have been confirmed. The race will start with three stages on the island of Corsica before moving back to the mainland and a team time trial in Nice.
The race has appeared in the Tour six times already this century, including a time trial in 2004. Lance Armstrong covered the 15.5km from Bourg-d'Oisans in the quickest time. The legendary climb was also featured in the 2011 Tour, with Pierre Rolland of Europcar taking the win and Andy Schleck moving into the yellow jersey.