The 106th edition of the Tour de France (2.WT, 6-28/07) was presented on Thursday at the Palais des Congrès in Paris. The Grand Départ in Brussels had been announced for some time, but the rest of the route remained unknown until yesterday. After his departure from the European capital La Grande Boucle will honor the city of Binche, home to our main sponsor Wanty, as the city will organize the start of the third stage on Monday 8 July. The peloton then heads for the Vosges, before it crosses France to the Pyrenees, with a first rest day in Albi. The Tour de France will close in the Alps, with the legendary ascent of the Iseran and a final summit finish in Val Thorens, before parading to the Champs Elysées.
Jean-François Bourlart (general manager):
"The upcoming Tour de France is full of surprises and will not be easy to control. This Tour perfectly suits the baroudeurs, but also the climbers. Guillaume Martin is a pure climber and likes this kind of mountain stages. I am delighted that the city of Binche is being rewarded for its commitment to cycling. "
"The difference between Binche and us is that we are not sure if we will be there. We still have to wait for confirmation. We have been invited for two years as we won the UCI Europe Tour twice. I hope that this will be the case again next year. It would be a logical step towards the reform desired by the UCI. "
Hilaire Van der Schueren (sports director):
"This Tour should be less nervous in the first week, even though a flat stage can be tiring. But this route will be more favorable for the climbers, with more summit finishes. This plays in the favor of Bardet, but also of Guillaume Martin."
"For me personally it will be special to ride through Geraardsbergen and climb the Bosberg, with passage in front of my house. But that will only take a few minutes. "
Guillaume Martin (rider):
"The layout of this Tour de France is similar to the 2017 edition. The difficulties are distributed more evenly, with more spectacle. For a rider like me and a team like us this offers opportunities, with more stages in the hills on lesser known climbs. In addition we will climb mythical passes for the 100-year jubilee of the yellow jersey. "
"I left the last Tour de France with a bad feeling. I want no revenge, but I want to discover something else in the Tour. I think that a good result lies within my capabilities, so I hope that our team will be invited again. Because Belgium is my second home and there are a lot of attractions along the way, whether it is Alsace, Pau or the Alps. "
Yoann Offredo (rider):
"I think this Tour de France is very exciting. I do not see any possibility for a team to crush the Tour, because a lot of riders can show themselves in a wide range of stages. This also applies to Wanty-Groupe Gobert. The first week will be interesting, because of the nervousness and crashes there will be opportunities for the breakaway. "
Christophe Wanty (Wanty SA):
"I want to congratulate the city of Binche, which has long supported cycling. There is, of course, Binche-Chimay-Binche. We had the start of Flèche Wallonne for two years and a beautiful Belgian championship last summer. This is a fair reward for Binche. I hope that the route will now pass Wanty's headquarters, and why not the real start in front of our offices with an immediate attack from a Wanty-Groupe Gobert rider? This is of course determined by an invitation from our team to the Tour de France. We have done everything we could to be invited for a third time, now we are waiting for the organisation to choose the wildcards. "