Tour de France 2013 official presentation will take place in Paris on October 24, Wednesday. But rumors and speculations already spread. Le Dauphine Libere, the French news outlet is reporting that the legendary Mont Ventoux and the Tour classic Alpe d’Huez will be included in the 100th editions’ rote. And Alpe d’Huez not once, but twice!
As already reported, the 2013 Tour will take place on the Mediterranean island of Corsica. It will be the Tour’s first visit to the island since its inception in 1903. There will be three stages hosted by Corsica. Then the race will leave the island to a team time trial in Nice.
Mont Ventoux and two ascents of L’Alpe d’Huez
The legendary Mont Ventoux last appeared in Tour de France in 2009. Rabobank’s Spanish rider Juan Manuel Garate took the stage, while Alberto Contador of Astana clinching his overall lead.
At 1,909 m (6,263 ft), it is the highest mountain in the region and has been nicknamed the “Beast of Provence”, the “Giant of Provence”, or “The Bald Mountain”. It has gained fame through its inclusion in the Tour de France cycling race; in 2009 it was the scene of the first penultimate-day mountain top finish in the Tour de France, with Alberto Contador sealing his yellow jersey.
As the name might suggest (venteux means windy in French), it can get windy at the summit, especially with the mistral; wind speeds as high as 320 km/h (200 mph) have been recorded. The wind blows at over 90 km/h (56 mph) for 240 days a year. The road over the mountain is often closed due to high winds, especially the col des tempêtes (“storm pass”) just before the summit, which is known for its strong winds.
Mont Ventoux will be climbed at the beginning of the third week, according to Le Dauphine Libere’s report.
Also according to the report, on July 18, there will be two ascents of L’Alpe d’Huez and the Tour will enter the “XXL mode”. The stage will start in Gap, the peloton will climb Alpe d’Huez, then will descend back down via the Col de Sarenne on soon to be asphalted roads. With another climb to L’Alpe d’Huez, the stage will finish with a real crescendo.
It is also believed that the penultimate stage will be an uphill time trial to Semnoz.
- Mont Ventoux on Wikipedia