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You don’t want to miss these stages of Tour de France 2016

By We Love Cycling

This year’s route is going to be visually stunning – it will juxtapose history and brutality, with some of the most beautiful stages we’ve seen.

Stage 1 starts at the iconic Mont Saint-Michel, and ends on Utah Beach. As if the scenery and historical setting isn’t enough, this stage has Peter Sagan written all over it. Expect to witness a rare sight at the end of this dramatic stage – a sprinter wearing yellow.


Stage 9 sees Le Tour visiting Andorra, and will be a psychological test for race favourite Chris Froome – this is where his Vuelta ended due to a foot injury. But unlike the Vuelta, Le Tour isn’t a place where the teams should take risks – Froome learned the hard way with his early, aggressive riding in 2014. It’s a little early to figure out who’s on form to win Le Tour, but you know the big names must be looking at this route with some trepidation.


Stage 12 ends on the Mars-like Mont Ventoux and, as ever, invites the climbers to take centre stage. The tragic demise of “Major” Tom Simpson on this savagely desolate mountain is offset by the fact that it will be contested on Bastille Day. This stage will make a stunning centrepiece for Le Tour. It offers bragging rights for the winner, regardless of whether they’re wearing the yellow jersey or not. Although who will want to brag after the ordeal of such a savage climb. “Ventoux has killed Ferdi,” intoned the Swiss cycling legend Ferdinand Kübler after his Mont Ventoux ordeal in 1955. Speaking of the Swiss…


Stage 17 will be the second day in Switzerland, and follows a rest day, so the summit finish will be up for grabs. The scenery will be breath-taking – expect spectacular images to emerge courtesy of the Tour de France’s helicopter TV crew, while you sit back and watch the wheat being separated from the chaff. This stage will knock the wind out of some riders’ sails.


Stage 20 takes in Megève to Morzine and will test the strategy of the team managers to their limits. This Tour de France, more than any in recent history, encourages the GC contenders to take it to the wire. The stage before the procession into Paris features four savage climbs, and in order to keep the Maillot Jaune, the leader will have to have most of his team mates still in the competition. Only the most charismatic riders will keep their domestiques close enough over 20 stages.


Where do you think the 2016 Tour will be won?