Romain Bardet (Ag2R-La Mondiale) has spoken of his satisfaction with the route of the 2018 Tour de France which was announced yesterday.
Bardet, who finished 3rd overall in this year’s edition of the Tour said that he was “delighted” with the route.
Among the highlights of the 2018 route are the Roubaix stage where the riders will take on 21.7 kilometres of pavé, the climb up to the Plateau des Glières on the Grand-Bornand stage which the riders will reach after a steep climb and two kilometres on a non-tarmacked track.
The race also makes a return to Alpe d’Huez and in the Pyrenees, the riders will face a very short but tough 65 km mountain stage. The final face-off among the favourites will take place during the time trial, on the particularly steep roads of the Basque Country.
“I am delighted with this Tour which looks pretty well balanced, and offers a wide variety of terrains to exploit,” said Bardet. “The team time trial will put the composition of the team at the forefront.”
“In that short stage of just over 60 kilometres, the leaders will be sparing with each other. There will also be a lot of potential pitfalls. No one will be really calm the morning of the stage with the cobbles, and several stages promise to be very exposed to the wind.
“In the last week, the big climbing days will play a very important role,” continued Bardet. “One day we’ll be doing more than 5000 metres and another day nearly 4000. I like these marathon stages, they are what make the legend of the Tour de France.”
The AG2R Team Manager Vincent Lavenu was also pleased with the route: “This is a Tour that is going to be dynamic and full of uncertainty. The organisers have put together a very nice course with a beginning that will have lots of wind and visit the cobbles, and then concentrate on the mountains in the second half.
“Such a course can smile on the aggressive riders, like Romain Bardet. It will be up to us to organize a team to put him in the best position, whether to protect him on the flat stages and the cobbles, or to stay with him in the mountains.”