The route of the 2016 Tour de France was announced on Tuesday much to the delight of the climbers, but to the chagrin of the time trial specialists, who get no prologue and only two hilly individual tests to stretch their legs.
Cyclingnews analysed the route and came up with these five conclusions.
More opportunities for the sprinters
Race director Christian Prudhomme suggested the sprinters will have seven opportunities to win stages in the 2016 Tour de France. Mark Cavendish claimed there were six but whoever proves to be right, next year’s Tour de France will definitely give ample opportunity to the fast men. With eight mountain stages, the big losers in 2016 are the attackers and baroudeurs, who will have to fight tooth and nail to escape the control of the peloton.
The absence of a prologue time trial and time bonuses of ten, six and four seconds will also give the sprinters a chance of wearing the yellow jersey deep into the first week of racing. The winner of the opening stage to Utah Beach will also pull on the first yellow jersey.
Stage 1 should be flat and fast along Utah Beach, certainly a day for the pure sprinters, but stage 2 to Cherbourg finishes with a 3km climb above the port that could rule out the likes of Cavendish, but arguably favour one like Peter Sagan.
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