Tour's route planner on "recon" in the Cévennes mountains
With cobbles already featuring fairly regularly in past editions, the Tour de France could be heading into new territory with dirt roads on two parts of the route in 2018.
The route, which will be announced in full in October, is already strongly rumoured to be heading to Brittany after the Grand Départ in the Vendée, and looks likely to take in some of the ribinoù (or dirt roads) used in the Tro-Bro Léon one-day race.
However a tweet from technical director Thierry Gouvenou has raised the possibility of the race also using dirt roads in the Massif Central.
Gouvenou posted a photo of what appears to be a dirt road near Mont Lozère in the Cévennes mountains with the caption “under the spell of this mountain road… pleasures of the recon”.
The 48-year-old former professional also fills the same role for Paris-Nice, meaning that the road could also be under consideration for the 2017 edition of the Race to the Sun, a race which is often used as a testing ground for new roads before they are introduced to the Tour de France.