Paris, June 26 (IANS) Tour de France organisers announced on Friday to alter the route in the penultimate stage of this year’s race due to a landslide in the Alps.
The Col du Galibier climb has been removed from the 20th stage, a 110.5-km ride scheduled on July 25 from Modane to Alpe d’Huez, Xinhua news agency reported.
“The route of the Modane-Alpe d’Huez stage has been changed: the peloton will climb the col de la Croix-de-Fer pass before tackling the final run, for a stage that from a sporting point of view remains generally unchanged,” Tour organisers Amaury Sports Organisation told letour.fr.
“Kept on alert since the closure of the Chambon tunnel because of a landslide in April, Tour de France organisers have been informed by the Isere authorities of the inability to restore circulation before the passage of the race scheduled on July 25,” it further explained.
“Despite the determination of all parties involved to conserve the original route, but more importantly to allow the population of the communities concerned to return to their normal traffic patterns, it was decided that the route of stage 20 be changed.”
The new route will be the same distance with the riders re-joining the original itinerary after the detour
The Tour, which begins on July 4 in Utrecht, the Netherlands, was due to go over the ascent on the 20th stage.
The highest point on this year’s tour will now come in stage 17 when riders ascend the Col d’Allos, the elevation of which is 2,250 meters.