The 2013 Tour de France might not finish on the Champs-Élysées next summer.
That’s according to a report in Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblat, which cited sources within the Amaury Sports Organization as saying that next year’s Tour could end atop cycling’s most famous climb: L’Alpe d’Huez.
The paper cited unnamed sources that next summer’s centenary celebration of the Tour could conclude with a spectacular stage across the Alps, culminating with two climbs up the 21 “lacets” of L’Alpe d’Huez.
If true, that would mean that Tour organizers are thumbing their noses at tradition — the season’s most important stage race has ended on the Champs-Élysées every year since 1975.
The official route presentation is not until October 24 in Paris, but leaks are already making headlines across Europe.
Last week, the French daily Le Dauphiné Libéré reported that Mont Ventoux would also be part of next year’s 100th edition of the grande boucle.
The Géant of Provence has only been featured twice in the past decade and would mark another major highlight for the celebratory edition. The last time Ventoux featured in the Tour was 2009, when Juan Manuel Garate beat Tony Martin for the stage and Alberto Contador secured his victory over Andy Schleck and Lance Armstrong.
Tour officials look to be pulling out all the stops for the 2013 Tour to celebrate the 100th edition of the French national tour.
The Pyrénées will also feature in the race, most likely in its first half. With the race starting in Corsica, the Tour would likely loop toward the Pyrénées, with all but certain stages tackling such emblematic climbs as the Galibier and the Tourmalet.
Stages across the bumpy, narrow roads of the Massif Central are almost also guaranteed before climbing into the Alps.
Officials have already confirmed three stages on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, the only province of France that has yet to host a Tour stage in the race’s century-long existence.
The Tour entourage then transfers to Nice via a ferry for stage 4, a team time trial.