The Tour de France is reportedly set to return to Mont Ventoux in 2016, three years after Chris Froome won there on his way to winning the race for the first time – and once again, the stage will take place on Bastille Day, 14 July.
The Avignon-based newspaper, La Provence, reports that the fabled ascent will be confirmed as making its return to the race when the route of next year’s 103rd edition is announced in Paris on Tuesday 20 October.
The mayor of Bedoin, where the approach from the south that is most commonly used to tackle the mountain begins, told the newspaper: “Nothing is official yet but it seems the ascent will start in Bedoin since I’ve just got my invitation to attend the official presentation in Paris.”
La Provence says that the stage will begin in Montpellier, as the race heads from the Pyrenees towards a final week in the Alps.
If confirmed a week tomorrow – and Thomas Vergouwen, who successfully predicts the course of the race each year on his Velowire blog believes it will be – it would be the Tour de France’s 16th visit to Mont Ventoux, and the 10th summit finish there.
On the way to the summit, Stage 12 of the race on 14 July would also pass the memorial to one of Britain’s greatest cyclists, Tom Simpson. The 49th anniversary of his death on the mountain during the 1967 Tour de France will have fallen the previous day.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.