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by Shane Stokes
January 16, 2015
Still almost a full year and a half away, details of the 2016 Tour de France are scarce, to say the least. However organisers ASO revealed on Thursday that next year’s race will spent three days in the principality of Andorra, thus revealing the approximate location of some of the climbs for the event.
A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Tour director Christian Prudhomme and Andorra’s Minister of Tourism Francesc Camp. The agreement will see the riders have a stage finish in the region, a rest day plus a stage start.
The dates of the stay have not yet been announced, nor the precise details.
The race last visited the principality in 2009. On that occasion the Frenchman Brice Feillu attacked a breakaway group and won atop the climb of Andorra-Arcalis. Back in the group of leading contenders, Alberto Contador attacked and opened an important gap over his rivals.
It was a clear signal that he was not going to obey the team’s apparent preference that Lance Armstrong would be the leader, and helped set Contador up for his final overall victory.
Andorra also featured stopovers on three other occasions, namely 1964, 1993 and 1997. The winners on those occasions were Julio Jiménez of Spain, Oliverio Rincón of Colombia and Germany’s Jan Ullrich.
Andorra will also feature in this year’s Vuelta a España, with the finish there bringing to an end the race’s Queen stage.
The entire route of next year’s Tour will be announced on October 20 in Paris. The race will begin in Le Mont-Saint-Michel on July 2 2016, as disclosed last month.