What the best cyclists in the world have to say about the route of the 2015 Tour de France
The route of the 2015 Tour de France was officially unveiled in Paris today with many of the world’s best riders assembled at the Palais des Congrès to see what the race has in store for them in eight months’ time.
Notable absentees however were Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana and Chris Froome – the latter issued a statement on his website explaining he may skip the 2015 Tour to focus on the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana.
Nevertheless, after the full details of the route were revealed, the riders and organisers in Paris gave their thoughts on the race, the route, and their plans for 2015.
Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep)
“I think it’s a nice route. The first week, although there are a lot of sprints, is probably going to be more tiring than if we were doing mountains. It’s a stressful week with small roads, with crosswinds, with cobbles.
“The first week does lend itself well to sprints, especially if you have a strong team who can ride well on the crosswinds and the cobbles. I believe I’m in the best team for that. I’m really excited for it.
“There are a couple of stages that aren’t ‘sprint’ sprints, but overall there are seven or eight potential sprints.”
Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano)
“It’s not going to be easy for the sprinters. When Mark [Cavendish] says seven stages, I’m sure that there are at least two of those stages where it’s not so easy for the sprinters.
“I haven’t seen any profiles but I think between four and five stages could be good for the sprinters.”
Thierry Gouvenou, Tour de France course director
“We have made some changes to the green jersey competition next year. When we are almost certain that the stage will end in a sprint, we will add a little bonus to first place.
“Previously we’ve had 45, 35 and 30 points for the top three positions respectively. Now we will award 50, 30 and 20 points.
“The person who wins the stage will have a bigger advantage over the others, and it’s something which brings the pure sprinters back into the frame for the green jersey.”
Bauke Mollema (Belkin)
Chris Froome (Sky)
“There’s no two ways about it, next year’s Tour is going to be about the mountains.There’s very little emphasis on time trialling, which means the race will be decided up in the high mountains. With six mountaintop finishes it is going to be an aggressive and massively demanding race.”