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Tour de France: Will strong winds change Mont Ventoux finish?

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The final kilometres of Mont Ventoux are unlike any other climb the Tour de France visits

The final kilometres of Mont Ventoux are unlike any other climb the Tour de France visits (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Some sumosuited fans cheer on Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana during the Tour's visit to Mont Ventoux in 2013

Some sumosuited fans cheer on Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana during the Tour's visit to Mont Ventoux in 2013
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Mont Ventoux has hosted several crucial stages of the Criterium du Dauphine over the years

Mont Ventoux has hosted several crucial stages of the Criterium du Dauphine over the years (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The 'moon like' upper slopes of Mont Ventoux is packed with camper vans

The 'moon like' upper slopes of Mont Ventoux is packed with camper vans (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mont Ventoux in all its glrory

Mont Ventoux in all its glrory (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The final steep corner to the Mont Ventoux finish line

The final steep corner to the Mont Ventoux finish line (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

Strong winds could force the Tour de France to change and lower the finish of Thursday's mountain stage stage to Mont Ventoux.

Stage 12 is scheduled to finish atop Ventoux at an altitude of 1912m but if the expected high winds blow as forecast, the finish line could be moved seven kilometres down the road to the Chalet Reynard. The road is more protected at Chalet Reynard thanks to the forest area of the climb.

Current weather forecast suggest the wind could blow at close to 100km/h on Thursday. Live weather monitoring at the summit indicates a current wind speed of 70km/h. 

Moving the finish from the exposed summit would reduce the importance of the stage but ensure the safety of the riders and the huge number of public expected to watch the race on Bastille Day in France.

Several journalists have claimed via Twitter that race organiser ASO is already preparing to move the finish from the summit of Mont Ventoux to Chalet Reynard, with a final decision expected to later today at around 7pm local time. However when contacted by Cyclingnews, ASO played down the reports of a change to the stage and said no final decision had been made. Any decision  would be announced via an official communique.

Cyclingnews will have more on the Mont Ventoux stage as information becomes available.