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by Mark Zalewski
March 1, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Mareczko wins second Langkawi stage sprint; Hurel wins La Tropicale Amissa Bongo stage 2; Is Specialized pressuring riders to use disc brakes? Yes and no; Professional Cyclists Association sends legal warning to UCI over disc brakes; Pauline Ferrand-Prévot to race on the road, starting at Strade Bianche; Debate over proposal to reduce Grand Tour team sizes ongoing; Boonen alters race plan due to illness, crashes; Iranian Team Pishgaman suspended for multiple doping positives; 2018 Tour de France Grand Départ announced; Lotto-Soudal to be Lotto-Fix ALL for Paris-Nice; Tour de Langkawi, stage 6 highlights; Video: UCI Track World Cup Los Angeles highlights; Video: Paris-Nice teaser; Peter Sagan downs gummy bears post-race.
As was predicted the Grand Départ for the 2018 Tour de France will set off from the Passage du Gois, as the Vendée region hosts the start of the race for the sixth time on Saturday, 30 June, 2018. The race last used this unique part of France in the 2011 edition of the race.
The 2011 Tour de France rides on the Passage du Gois.
This time around after heading towards Mont des Alouettes the peloton will reach Fontenay-le-Comte after a tour of the Vendée coast which includes Saint-Jean-de-Monts, Les Sables-d’Olonne and Saint-Vincent-sur-Jard.
The second stage is going full vintage, finishing with a likely sprint in Roche-sur-Yon. The town was used a lot in the 1930s, but since has not hosted a Tour stage finish for the last 80 years.
The next day, the Tour de France will head out of Vendée for a 35km team time trial in Cholet. Finally, stage four will start in La Baule, where the famous beach last saw the race in 1988. The peloton will race for around 100km in the Pays de la Loire region before crossing into Derval.
The rest of the parcours will be unveiled on 17 October, when the 2018 Tour de France will be presented at the Palais des Congrès de Paris.