2019 Tour De France rumors suggest summit finish on Mount Ventoux
Ahead of the official presentation of the 2019 Tour de France route, the rumor mill is in full swing
The 2019 edition of the French GrandTour is set to start in Brussels, Belgium, 50 years after Eddy Merckx won the race for the first time. More details have surfaced regarding the opening stages.
The race starts on Saturday, the 6th of July with a normal stage in Flanders and Wallonie that will be followed by a team time trial in the city of Brussels the day after.
The 3rd stage is rumored to start in the fortified Wallonian town of Binche and finish in the Champagne region in the north of France, in Epernay.
From there, the fourth stage is rumored to run from Reims to Nancy with Stage 6 finishing at the summit of La Planche des Belles Filles, at 6 km climb with average gradient of 8.5%, however there rumors that it involves and additional section with gradients 24% in the finale.
Rumors of stage finishes in Chalon-sur-Saône, Saint-Etienne and Brioude are in circulation in the french press, Brioude is the birth pace of french darling of cycling, Romain Bardet.
The route of the 2019 Tour de France is expected to head into the Pyrenees in the second week with the Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Col du Tourmalet and Foix rumored stage finishes. The Foix stage would likely take in the Port de Lers and Mur de Péguèr climbs and finish at atop the Prat d’Albis after 16.7 kilometres at 6.4%.
It's rumored that an ITT will take place in Pau, on the 13th Stage.
Following a second rest day after the end of second week in the Pyrenees, the tour heads towards the Alps for the final week.
A finish on the iconic slopes of Mont Ventoux is likely, with a stage another finish atop Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc, where Adam Yates won the final stage of the 2018 Critérium du Dauphiné. Romain Bardet was the last winner on the slopes of Mont Blanc in 2016 in the Tour.
Last time the Tour visited Ventoux, Chris Froome lost his bike and ran up ...
In 2016, the last time the Tour visited Ventoux, Chris Froome, Richie Porte and Bauke Mollema were clear of the other contenders when they were swarmed by a horde of fans outside the barriers of the final kilometer. The camera motorbike was halted by the crowd, and Porte crashed into it.
Froome's bike was broken in the mayhem, and he had to run up the climb until neutral support could give him a bike. But the machine did not fit, and by the time Froome finally got one his own bikes with 500m to go and rode across the line, he was well behind the main favourites group.
Another rumored stage finish is atop the ski resort of Tignes, while the oxygen sapping Col de l’Iseran, one of the highest passes in the Alps rumored to be climbed along the way.
Tour organisers ASO, will likely try to "break Team Sky" - by packing in some high altitude climbs in the Alps and sneaking in some short, sharp, team-busting mountain stages ...
Of course, one thing is for sure, the 2019 Tour de France will finish on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.