The recent declaration of 2014 Tour France route has raised great concerns among cyclists. Cobblestones are once again back for the Tour route the coming year which is speculated to bring in a dramatic twist in the race.
Cobblestones used to be a regular feature in Tour France initially given that majority of French roads was choked with small rocky chunks. As those roads started disappearing with passing Tours, the cobblestones became a rarity on the Tour track.
Christian Prudhomme, the Tour France director seemed to be highly excited about the latest revealed Tour track, insisting that the cobbled route would make the championship all the more thrilling.
“Cobblestones are a part of the racing”, remarked Pruddhomme. “It is very appropriate that cobbles would be featuring in the Tour.
The cobbles would cover 9 sectors spanning across 15.4 km of potentially hazardous and bumpy roads. The pave are considered akin to a bane for GC riders, particularly running Tour France champion Chris Froome or Quintana. Both of them hold exotic backgrounds sans any experience on cobbles.
Albeit Froome has got some experience on the cobbled patches during Paris-Roubaix yet Quintana is a complete amateur here. The cobbles will feature at stage 5 of the 2014 Tour France.
“It’s terribly risky to ride on the cobbles. Anything might go wrong here- crashes, mechanicals, punctures”, Froome seemed worried while speaking about the newly unveiled route for Tour France. “It is something for which we need to undergo specific training.”
The Tour France organizers are hopeful that the return of cobbles in 2014 edition will beget some additional drama that would be able to keep the tension taut all along the route to Paris.
“We do not wish to see 2 or 3 days sans anything happening”, stressed Prudhomme. “We do not wish the Tour France to get predictable.”