News – TDF 2015 – Breaking Away


In front of 4,000 riders, VIPs and press, the 2015 Tour de France route that break’s away from tradition was revealed and Alberto Contador likes what he saw.

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News – TDF 2015 – Breaking Away

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For its 102nd edition, the Tour de France offers its riders a challenge that invites daring.

The riders will only have 14 kilometres of individual time trialing to show their stuff, making it the shortest distance since its inclusion in 1947. ”The desire is to not hold up the race”, said Christian Prudhomme, getting rid of rules and dogmas of all kinds”.

The first portion of the 2015 Tour takes the peloton from Utrecht and The Netherlands to the heart of Brittany, passing by the landmarks of the Spring Classics and along the Normandy coast. The Tour boss sees much more than a long week of flatlands such as a new Points system for the 9 flat stages of the 2015 Tour de France to give more importance to stage victories.

“Do not imagine that it will be a nagging procession. With a finish like the ‘Mur de Huy’, the Paris-Roubaix cobblestones, another arrival on Mûr de Bretagne or even the team trial at Plumelec, the Tour de France can be played out anywhere”.

As in 2014, the ambitious will not wait for the highest summits to declare their intentions. However, they will need to confirm their strength and resist the attacks from another category of riders by attacking the demanding mountain programme. A new Pyrenean route will begin the festival of climbs, with a summit finish at the Pierre-Saint-Martin ski station.

A series of attacks and counter-attacks could then emerge on the Plateau de Beille climb, which leads to the Mende airfield, then the entry into the Alps with a return to Pra-Loup, the reappearance of Maurienne that will feature the Montvernier switchbacks, while those of Alpe-d’Huez will be the last chance to shake up the final podium positions just 24 hours before the end of the Tour.

The copious mountain programme, with notably five mountain top finishes, is a veiled reference to the arrival 40 years ago of the polka dot jersey in the peloton. The 1975 race will be particularly honoured because the finish at Pra-Loup precipitated the end of Eddy Merckx’s reign.

The man responsible, Bernard Thévenet, also became the first Tour winner to be crowned on the Champs-Elysées. The final bouquet will also be an anniversary bouquet.

“I like this Tour” says a favourite Contador
One of the favourites will be Alberto Contador who has described on his team’s website the route as harder and with a different first part than the last years. “I like this Tour, it’s harder than what the last years have been and requires me to recover well from the Giro d’Italia. But I will prepare myself thoroughly.”

“The first stages are a bit different from the last few years. You have to be in good shape from the very first stage. It begins with a short time trial, but there will be time differences,” commented Tinkoff-Saxo’s captain after having studying the official route.

The first part of the race features cobblestones and two uphill finishes on Mur du Huy and Mur du Bretagne. Alberto Contador sees these stages as important, also for the general classification.

“We must to be strong in the two uphill finishes, because, although they’re short, sometimes there are bigger time differences here than on the long climbs. It will be very important to have a strong team to stay protected. This is also important on stage 4 with cobblestones, which we will have to see before determining how difficult they are.”

“This first part of the Tour ends with a team time trial in which it will be important not to have lost riders in crashes or from illness, because a stage like this will be different if you have lost two riders in contrast to having a full team ready,” explained Contador explains and went on to add “the key to this first part will be to avoid losing time, as it will be in the mountains, where this particularly mountainous and demanding Tour will be decided.”


“The uphill finishes in the Pyrenees will be very important, just as is the finish in Mende, a finish that I know well. Despite being short, there will be differences on this climb,” stated Alberto. “In the 2015 edition, the recovery from all that effort will be very important, especially if you look at the last week in the Alps”.

“It will be very complicated in case you have to defend the lead, although the last week gives many tactical possibilities in case you have to attack. In general, it’s a Tour where you have to arrive in good shape and stay fresh and well recovered until the very end,” stated Alberto Contador.

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