Tour de France 2015 : in constant evolution

The 2015 Tour de France route was revealed on October 22nd at the 'Palais des Congrès' in Paris in front of more than 4,000 spectators. It was designed with the intention of breaking away from tradition. The plains, mountains and time trial are clearly included in the 102th edition… but in unprecedented proportions and with nuances susceptible of upsetting pre-established plans.

It can still surprise! For its 102th edition, the Tour de France offers its riders a challenge that invites daring and will leave its television viewers in a state of uncertainty regarding the scenarios to consider. The premise of suspense and indecision has indeed been favoured; the questioning of non-written regulations that can often weigh on the race is gone. Also, the riders will only have 14 kilometres of individual time trial to show their stuff, making it the shortest distance since its systematic inclusion in 1947. ”The desire is to not hold up the race”, said Christian Prudhomme, getting rid of rules and dogmas of all kinds. When the first portion of the 2015 Tour takes the peloton from Utrecht and The Netherlands to the heart of Brittany, passing by the landmarks of the Spring Classics or along the Normandy coast, the Tour boss sees much more than a long week of flatlands: “Do not imagine that it will be a nagging procession. With arrivals like the ‘Mur de Huy’, the Paris-Roubaix cobblestones, Mûr de Bretagne or even the atypical team trial at Plumelec, the Tour de France can be played out anywhere”.

As in 2014, the ambitious will not wait for the highest summits to declare their intentions. However, they will need to confirm their strength and resist the attacks from another category of riders by attacking the demanding mountain programme. A new Pyrenean route will begin the festival of climbs, with an arrival at the Pierre-Saint-Martin ski station. A series of attacks and counter-attacks could then emerge on the Plateau de Beille climb, which leads to the Mende airfield, then the entry into the Alps with a return to Pra-Loup, the reappearance of Maurienne that will feature the Montvernier switchbacks, while those of Alpe-d’Huez will be the last chance to shake up the final podium positions…24 hours before the end of the Tour.

The copious mountain programme, with notably 5 mountain top finishes, is a veiled reference to the arrival 40 years ago of the polka dot jersey in the peloton. The 1975 race will be particularly honoured because the finish at Pra-Loup precipitated the end of Eddy Merckx’s reign. The man responsible, Bernard Thévenet also became the first Tour winner to be crowned on the Champs-Elysées. The final bouquet will also be an anniversary bouquet.

VISUAL 2015: EVERYONE ON THE POSTER!
The Palais des Congrès spectators discovered the official poster of the 2015 Tour de France at the same time as internet visitors. More than 2700 photographs of cyclists of all sorts were used for this assemblage symbolizing the shared passion for cycling. It is, however, just a draft version. As of today, and just until 30 November, internet visitors are invited to send a photo that could be chosen along with thousands of others to be on the definitive Tour poster. To win ones place in the legend, just one criteria: the love of cycling.
Registrations: send photos to http://affiche2015.letour.fr/

POINTS CLASSIFICATION: BONUS FOR VICTORY!
A new points distribution system will be implemented on the 9 flat stages of the 2015 Tour de France to give more importance to stage victories.
New points distribution on "flat" stages: 50, 30, 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 points for the first 15 riders completing the stage.
Former points distribution: 45, 35, 30, 26, 22, 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 for the first 15 riders completing the stage.