• Chris Froome liked what he saw at the 2016 Tour de France course presentation (AAP)Source: AAP
Minutes after discovering the route for the 2016 Tour de France, defending champion Chris Froome issued a warning to his rivals, saying next year's route suits him even better.
By
reuters.com

Source:
Cycling Central
21 Oct 2015 - 9:08 AM  UPDATED 21 Oct 2015 - 9:09 AM

Organisers unveiled the route that will heavily favour the climbers but also includes two demanding time trials featuring a few ascents, the perfect mix for the double Tour champion.

"I think it's a great course," the Team Sky rider told reporters. "It really does challenge in every aspect of cycling - time trials, the mountains, a tricky technical descent also.

"It's such an amazing, special race, I'm still 30 years old and feel I have a lot left in my legs.

"(Next year's course) suits me better," he added, in reference to the two time trials.

This year's event, which he won in thrilling fashion from Movistar's Nairo Quintana, featured only one individual time trial.

Froome won the 2013 and 2015 editions thanks to impressive attacks in the mountains - up the Mont Ventoux the first time and up La Pierre-Saint-Martin this year.

The 2016 race features a stage that finishes on the summit of the iconic Ventoux, a 22km ascent at an average gradient of 7.2 per cent.

"I think that the beautiful thing about the Tour de France is that it's not specifically about one stage, I think it's going to take a complete cyclist, but the stage that certainly stands out for me is the stage to Mont Ventoux," Froome said.

"I know how difficult this climb is and how much time can be won or lost on that climb."

Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

“It's a good parcours for us. I think the mountains really suit us, plenty on them on the course with some finishes I know and shone in in the past, like Mont Ventoux or Morzine. Also, from what I could see, the long ITT isn't completely flat, so it shouldn't be bad for us. Even though we saw last year that the pavé wasn't a big disadvantage for us last year, not having it in 2016, combined with an 'easier' first week, will keep us under full focus, just like in every Tour start, but we'll tackle it with more confidence. What I really miss on this year's route is the TTT. It really favoured us on previous editions, as we could fight for the stage win and take a bit of a gap over our rivals. It's a shame we won't ride it this time.

"More than the Tour, this route reminds me of the Vuelta a España or even the Giro, with hard stages all over the three weeks of racing, but our form approach must remain the same: starting off in good condition and keeping or improving it over the course of the race. We have to take care about ourselves the best we can - overtraining and losing that bit of fitness at the end of the race would be a big mistake. Pressure? It won't be different to previous occassions: I always took on leading duties well during this years, in the 2014 Giro, the 2015 Tour... it won't be a problem. Fortunately, Alejandro got the Tour podium he really fought for, and having him out of that same pressure will be a boost for me and the whole team."

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo)

"Next year's parcours appears to be very difficult and one has to start in good form because the fifth stage already has a fairly demanding finish. The two time trials stand out and are probably the ones that make the difference from the 2015 parcours. Both time trials are tough, the first one not excessively long. I like them both.
 
"The mountain stages are evenly spread out from start to finish and you will have to manage your forces very well in order not to reach the final stages worn out. Is it a Tour for climbers? Yes, it is, although last year's Tour was even more since it didn't have so many time trials. It clearly is a course well suited to the profile of climbers.
 
"Overall, it is a parcours that I like, but as it is well known with the Grand Tours, it can turn against you at any moment. Without any doubt, it can be a nice and attractive Tour and I will prepare for it one hundred per cent."

Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal)

“It’s my first time that I’m attending a Tour de France presentation. It’s an honour to be a part of the presentation together with all these great riders. The organisation has put together a fantastic show with a review of the Tour from this year and a preview on the route of 2016. The Tour seems to be composed evenly with more sprint opportunities than last year.

“Just like the Grand Depart in Corsica (2013) and Yorkshire (2014), we start with a flat stage which is the ideal chance for sprinters to take the yellow jersey. I really look forward to that and also to the remainder of the first week where there are a few sprint opportunities. Hopefully we get five bunch sprints, but that depends on how the race evolves. Not every stage that is suitable for a sprint finish, ends in a bunch sprint. For example, the wind could play a role already in the first stage. What draws my attention as a non-climber, are the four stages where we start the day with a climb. On such days, it’s a matter of suffering and trying to finish within the time limit. As a sprinter, I’m not looking forward to these days.

“Next to the opening stage, there are some traditional sprint finishes like Montpellier (where Greipel won in 2013) and the Champs-Elysées (victory in 2015) where I’d like to win again. It’s still early to speak about contenders, given that the start of the Tour is still a long time from now. If all the best sprinters are there, then we will have some nice sprinting duels.

“Last year it was an exceptionally good Tour for me. It will be difficult to match the four stage victories and the several days in the green jersey. The goal for next year is to win a stage again; the faster, the better. After the first win, the pressure is off and there will be new opportunities for a stage win. Also the chances to win the green jersey depend on this. But the yellow jersey on day one is an unique chance and a goal on its own."

Romain Bardet (AG2R)

“It appears to be a unique route. We are not stuck in the routine of the last Tour routes. Mountain stages will have a major impact this year. The first mountain test is coming as early as Stage 5 (Limoges- Le Lioran on July 6th) which is close to my home. The roads in the department of Cantal are my training roads, I love to ride there. The tour will begin in a spectacular backdrop and the rider will remember, for a long time, this splendid province. That is why I appreciate the 2016 Tour route."