PARIS, France (AFP) — Time trials in this year’s Tour de France in July will be five kilometres (3.1 miles) longer than previously announced, race organisers said on Friday.
“This small change, which will take individual time-trials over 100 kilometres, is down to technical modifications on the ground after a detailed study,” said Tour sport director Jean-Francois Pescheux.
The prologue time-trial on June 30 in the Belgian town of Liege remains unchanged at 6.1 km but those from Arc-et-Senans to Besancon on July 9 and Bonneval to Chartres on July 21 will now be 41.5 km and 53.5 km respectively.
The calculation for eliminations will also be changed for this year’s race.
Organisers say they will still strictly apply the rules laid down by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) governing body but also take into account the distance and terrain of the hardest stages.
During last year’s race, an entire chasing pack was twice outside the designated cut-off point in the Alps. Pescheux, however, stressed that cyclists had to finish within the time limits to get an overall place in the race by the time they crossed the line in Paris on July 22.