Organisers of the Tour de France today unveiled the route for the 2011 race with six mountain stages awaiting the riders.
The race, which will get under way on July 2, features four finishes in the hills and two climbs of the daunting Col du Galibier in the Alps, as well as a trip to Italy in Pinerolo during the 17th and 18th stages.
The first stage of the event will see the competitors ride from Passage du Gois to Mont des Alouettes, with the final stage between Creteil and Paris taking place on July 24.
Tour director Christian Prudhomme said of the route: “We wanted to provide a huge array of challenges for all kind of riders.
“We wanted a more balanced route, with three stages in the Pyrenees and three in the Alps during the final week. That way we will maintain the suspense until the very end.”
This year’s winner, Alberto Contador, was not present at the unveiling in Paris following revelations he tested positive for clenbuterol during the race.