Mountains Galore As 2019 Tour de France Route Unveiled Oct 25, 2018

Mountains Galore As 2019 Tour de France Route Unveiled Oct 25, 2018

A mountainous 2019 edition of the Tour de France should smile favorably on the strongest climbers in the peloton.

There are only 54km of time trialling - a 27km team time trial and an individual test over the same distance - while three of the five mountain-top finishes are above 2,000m.

Critics have suggested the introduction of the tool has led to Team Sky's dominance of Grand Tours, the power meters bringing in a negative, more measured approach as opposed to rider's racing on instinct.

The steep climb will have a little added extra for the riders next year with the route set to go up a hiking trail after the finish line that has previously been used at the Tour.

Thomas' largely unexpected victory in July proved a PR coup for Team Sky given the Welshman's popularity, but it could give Sky a headache next year with the 33-year-old Froome running out of time to score a record-equalling fifth Tour crown.

"It's going to be a tough, tough, tough race, that's for sure".

When asked if he would defend his Giro d'Italia title from 2018, Froome brushed off the question.

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"Of the two of them I'd say Froome was better equipped on this type of route", he said when pressed on the issue. "Chris did it a year ago, so maybe", he added. "Also with the time trial in Pau will be crucial so as always it will be a well-rounded rider and team". Stage 14 on July 20 features finishes with a climb up the Tourmalet pass, one of the most famed in Tour history.

The route could put off specialists against the clock like Tom Dumoulin, last year's popular runner-up, who had said earlier this month that he was targeting the 2019 edition of the race but would reserve judgement until the parcours was revealed.

"Froome remains an iconic leader for Sky, and Thomas has found his Holy Grail'".

Britain's Cavendish, who with 30 stage wins is just four short of Merckx's Tour record of 34, said: "It might look harder but the 2019 Tour will be easier to finish than the 2018 one, which was virtually impossible for a sprinter like me".

"Over the century, the yellow jersey has left its mark". Though he missed out on making that step in this year's race, he will be one of the favourites heading into the 2019 event.

The first rest day is July 16 in Albi in southern France, followed by a sprint stage before the Tour enters the high Pyrenees. "It's heavily weighted in terms of the climbs and the mountains, especially those over 2,000 metres which is a big factor as well". It ends in Paris on 28 July.

The final three stages before the procession to Paris all feature tough Alpine climbing.

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