Tour de France 2018: shock Froome-Dumoulin
Photo: Philippe Lopez, Agence France-Presse
Reigning champion Chris Froome attended Tuesday in Paris at the unveiling of the route of the next Tour de France.
The defending champion Chris Froome can expect to see an opposition still more relieved the Dutchman Tom Dumoulin in the next Tour de France.
Froome will be there in search of a fifth win that would allow him to join them in the annals of the Belgian Eddy Merckx, frenchmen Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault, and Spaniard Miguel Indurain.
Froome and Dumoulin have won all three Grand Tours this year, Froome adding the Vuelta Spanish to her list of accomplishments and Dumoulin at the Giro d’italia.
The 105th edition of the Tour offers a time trial of 31 kilometers in the basque Country during the pre-last step. Froome is an exercise specialist, but Dumoulin is the reigning world champion.
Froome, aged 32, is still at its peak, while Dumoulin, 26 year old, approach. “A showdown between Chris Froome and Tom Dumoulin, both riders with similar qualities, I wouldn’t mind. This would force one of the two to try something different to surprise the other, said the director of the Tour de France, Christian Prudhomme.
“We are in search of a new generation that wants to entertain. I think that if Froome is in front of Dumoulin, they will want to do. They will be more or less equal game in the against-the-shows. It promises to be very exciting. “
The start of the race will be on 7 July — a week later than usual due to the football world Cup in Russia — and begins with a step on the flat, 195-km for the sprinters of Noirmoutier in Fontenay-le-Comte in Vendée, on the atlantic coast.
With the return of an against-the-shows absent of the last two editions, the team Sky of Froome is confident to create gaps of time from the 3rd stage — a route of 35 kilometers, starting and ending in Cholet in the west of France. But Sky will have to deal with competition up, because the team Sunweb-of-Dumoulin is the world champion of against-the-shows by teams.
The course of the Tour, which will follow the direction of the needles of a watch, includes 25 ascents in the mountains — ranking of the category 2 relatively difficult in the category 1 and the dreaded non-category (non-classified). Eleven are located in the Alps, four in the region of the Massif Central and ten in the Pyrenees.
“It is a huge challenge and a Tour of France which touches on all aspects of cycling, said Froome, who has won the last three editions and the 2013. I was expecting nothing less from the organizers. “
The Tour also provides more time bonuses at the steps on the flat over the 3329 km of the race.
The real things begin from the 10th step, the first of three consecutive days of alpine climbing challenging.
But the organisers have preceded the first and a ninth step difficult, which could stir the cards. She will lead the riders over a portion dangerous 15 cobbled sections : the highest number since the Turn of the 1980’s, with close to 22 km in total.
“This will be a race of high tension,” said Froome.
The classic 21 steps ends with the traditional procession on the Champs-Élysées.