Is Tour de France route predictor Thomas Vergouwen about to be beaten?

Belgian broadcaster Sporza claims to have the map of the 2016 Tour de France route - one that is very different to seasoned predictor Thomas Vergouwen's

Tour de France route confirmed

When searching for rumours about the Tour de France route, as we do every year around this time, our first point of call is Thomas Vergouwen’s Velowire blog.

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Each year the Dutchman predicts the Tour de France route to an incredibly high level of accuracy, thanks to his his long contacts list, including local press, hotel bookings, local authorities and organising committees.

Once again, Vergouwen has put the finishing touches to his predicted route ahead of Tuesday’s presentation in Paris, and it’s pretty comprehensive.

But there is some confusion about the route, with Belgian broadcaster Sporza claiming to have another route from a “well-informed source” – one that is quite different to Vergouwen’s.

While the first two weeks are virtually the same on both maps – starting in the north, heading down to Le Lioran for the route’s first mountain finish, down to the Pyrenees and along the south coast and up to Mont Ventoux – the Alps stages are the ones that are at odds with each other.

Vergouwen predicts six stages in the Alps, with a stage finish, start and rest day in the Swiss capital of Bern, while the map shown to Sporza sees five Alpine stages with a rest day in Briancon. After the Alps, this route shows the Tour heading up to the Vosges – the low mountain range on France’s border with Germany – for two stages before heading to Paris.

The best of the 2015 Tour de France

Both routes are very different when it comes to the Alps and both could be entirely plausible. One thing going for Vergouwen’s route – other than his years of successful predictions – is that the Tour de Suisse organisers confirmed to Swiss media that the race would not go to Bern this year, possibly because the Tour de France is set to visit the city.

Check out Vergouwen’s latest rumours on our Tour de France route rumours page, and see how they compare to Sporza’s below.

Stage 1: Saturday July 2, Mont Saint Michel to Utah Beach – Sainte Marie du Mont, 188km  (confirmed)

>>> Tour de France 2016 to roll out from Mont-Saint-Michel

Stage 2: Sunday July 3, Saint Lô to Cherbourg-Octeville, 182km (confirmed)

Stage 3: Monday July 4, Granville to Tours

Stage 4: Tuesday July 5, Tours to Limoges

Stage 5: Wednesday July 6, Limoges to Le Lioran

Stage 6: Thursday July 7, Saint-Flour to Montauban

Stage 7: Friday July 8, Montauban to Auch

Stage 8: Saturday July 9, Auch to Pla de Beret (Spain)

Stage 9: Sunday July 10, Saint-Girons to Arcalis (Andora)

>>> Tour de France 2016 to spend three days in Andorra

Rest day 1: Monday July 11, Andorra

Stage 10: Tuesday July 12, Andorra to Revel

Stage 11: Wednesday July 13, Carcassonne to Montpelier

Stage 12: Thursday July 14, Montpellier to Mont Ventoux

>>> Mont Ventoux set for return to Tour de France in 2016 on Bastille Day

Stage 13: Friday July 15, Bourg Saint AndĂ©ol to Vallon Pont d’Arc (Individual time trial)

Stage 14: Saturday July 16, Vaison-La-Romaine to Digne

Stage 15: Sunday July 17, Digne to Briançon

Rest day 2 in Briançon

Stage 16: Monday July 18, Serre-Chevalier to Aix-les-Bains

Stage 17: Wednesday July 20, Chambery to Le Grand Bornand

Stage 18: Thursday July 21, MĂ©geve to Lausanne (Switzerland)

Stage 19: Friday July 22, Pontarlier to Colmar

Stage 20: Saturday July 23, Strasbourg to Mulhouse

Stage 21: Sunday July 24, Chantilly to Paris Champs-Élysées