Düsseldorf still counts seven months before it hosts the start of the 2017 Tour de France, but reports that the 2018 edition will visit Brittany – and the Tro-Bro Léon tracks – is causing waves.
After missing out in 2017, Le Télégramme reports that the following edition could return to France’s cycling-rich Brittany.
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Specifically, it could visit the Finistère department in the extreme west. For cycling fans, that’s synonymous with the one-day race, Tro-Bro Léon.
The 1.1-race every spring covers some of the areas most characteristic roads or ribinoù, which ranges smooth gravel to loose dirt and nasty cobbles. In 2017, it runs on April 17 and in 2018, its 35th edition due to take a March date.
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme, and his second-in-command Pierre-Yves Thouault, visited the Cap Sizun headland on the Atlantic coast on Wednesday.
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Le Télégramme said that they answered questions about a stage finishing at the Pointe du Raz and that the idea of a Grand Départ was even kicked around. It would mark 10 years since Brest hosted the race start in 2008.
The towns of Quimper and Carhaix were mentioned as possible stage hosts – northern Finistère with its famous ribinoù.
“I read this information as everyone else does in the newspapers and internet,” Tro-Bro Léon director Jean-Paul Mellouet told Velo101.
“All I know is that Brest is a candidate for a start or finish, but it stops there. Obviously, I’d be proud to see the Tour pass over the roads of the Tro-Bro Léon, but it’s not up to me.
“What I know is that this formula is attractive. When I created the Tro-Bro Léon 34 years ago, people thought I was crazy.
“But today, we see many races copying us: Strade Bianche was born, the Schaal Sels in Belgium took our formula, even stage races such as Paris-Nice, the Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta a España and the Tour of Alberta. Now, the Tour…”