PARIS (AFP) — Tour de France organizers on Tuesday revealed they have obtained permission from the Paris police chief to round the Arc de Triomphe in 2014.
The world’s greatest cycling race has finished on the Champs Elysees every year since 1975 but this year, for the first time, the route extended along the entire length of the most famous road in Paris to include a ride around the iconic Arc de Triomphe.
When the original route for the 2014 Tour was published in October, organizer ASO said the Arc was off limits for 2014. But they have now received the green light from local police.
“The police commissioner has given his agreement for a route identical to that of 2013,” Tour de France assistant director Pierre-Yves Thouault told AFP. “The success of the 2013 Tour convinced us to include the same route which allows us to best promote the race as much as the monuments.”
One change from this year, though, is that in traversing the River Seine from the Rive Gauche to the Rive Droite before beginning the circuits of the Champs Elysees, the route will take the peloton over the Alexandre III bridge opposite the Grand Palais and Petit Palais, instead of the Pont du Carrousel directly in front of the Louvre museum.
Next year’s final stage will finish a little earlier than this year’s did, with the eighth and final circuit of the Champs Elysees due to end at around 7:30 p.m. local time.
For the 100th edition of the Grand Boucle in July, a later finish was programmed in order to allow for a nighttime illumination of the Arc de Triomphe as part of the award ceremony.
Kenyan-born Chris Froome (Sky) became the second Briton in a row to win the Tour, succeeding compatriot and teammate Bradley Wiggins, who in 2012 was the first ever rider from the other side of the English Channel to finish atop the Tour standings.
The 21st and final stage of next year’s Tour will take place on Sunday, July 27.