The race transfers to Corsica and the opening stage of the 2013 Tour de France is a 200km race from Porto Vecchio to Bastia. There’s a climb with 10km to go but the chances of a bunch sprint are high and many of the sprinters will want a chance to wear the yellow jersey.
It’s the opening stage of the 2013 Tour and we will have three days of racing on the “Island of Beauty”. For now little is know about the route. The start in Corsica is a certainty and then the race will take the ferry to Nice for a team time trial on Tuesday and then on Wednesday the stage starts in Cagnes-sur-Mer and heads to… an unknown destination.
The 2013 Tour will be the 100th edition of the race and word is we will be treated to a “greatest hits” collection of stages with Mont Ventoux, Alpe d’Huez, the Col d’Izoard and many other places made famous by the Tour de France. Antoine Blondin once said the race “graces the landscape more than than it borrows from it” and it’s true, for example a ski resort like Alpe d’Huez is so well known but the equal and opposite Les Deux Alpes… well you might never have heard of it. This time the 100th edition looks set to pay tribute to its own past.
But the route is unknown. Each Tour is planned roughly 18 months in advance, meaning that when one starts, the route for the following edition is already set, although it can be tweaked. Organiser Christian Prudhomme has said there will be more summit finishes, in fact he said yesterday he looks forward to seeing Nairo Quintana as a contender, the Colombian climber with Movistar.
The Finish: on the Champs Elysées in Paris. But a bunch sprint… or a time trial?
TV: the route will be announced on 24 October at 11.30 Euro time and streamed live via letour.fr
It might be premature but I’m already looking forward to the 2013 Tour de France. Wiggins should be tested with more climbing and probably greater opposition but he’ll surely have something to say, plus Sky return with Froome and quite possibly Uran and Henao too in the mountains.