Bring on the pavé

Cycling Weekly - - Contents - Si­mon Richard­son Editor

What’s your as­sess­ment of the 2018 Tour de France route? Too hilly? Too flat? Too French? Af­ter all the for­eign starts of late, I for one quite like the idea of the race run­ning al­most en­tirely on French roads for a change.

And as for the amount of climbing……. Well, for the fans can the Tour ever have too much? Sprint­ers might dis­agree.

What­ever you think, that first week is per­fect for Bri­tish fans want­ing to fol­low the race each day. A ferry to St Malo or Cher­bourg and a drive will get you to Tues­day’s fin­ish in Sarzeau from where there’s a good hol­i­day to be had fol­low­ing the race all the way over to Roubaix on the Sun­day.

The un­pre­dictable na­ture of those 154km and 15 sec­tions of pavé on stage nine are for me the most tan­ta­liz­ing as­pect of next year’s race.

Most stages, be they flat, moun­tain­ous or in-be­tween, fol­low a fa­mil­iar for­mat. While watch­ing that un­fold is al­ways fun, there aren’t many big sur­prises. But on that sec­ond Sun­day next July, any­thing could hap­pen.

Fif­teen sec­tions of pavé is a se­ri­ous chal­lenge for the Clas­sics riders and the climbers will al­ready be hav­ing sleep­less nights. At least they’ll get their own back two days later.

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