National Sports

Alpine climax for 2015 Tour de France

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PARIS (AP) — The punishing hairpin climb to the Alpe d’Huez ski station high in the French Alps will provide the dramatic climax for the 2015 Tour de France on the last day before cycling’s showcase race sweeps into Paris for its traditional finish before cheering crowds on the Champs-Elysees.

The atypical 2015 route unveiled Wednesday by Tour organizers also sees a drastically reduced emphasis on time trialing, plenty of opportunities for sprinters to shine and potential traps that could trip up race favorites, including a return to tricky cobbled roads in northeast France.

The race starts July 4 in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and ends 3,344 kilometers (2,078 miles) later in Paris on July 26, going counter-clockwise around France. Riders get rest days before they attack the Pyrenees and then the high Alps.

 

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