THIS year's race features mountain stage on second day, time trial on eve on final parade.

TOUR DE FRANCE organisers put a spring in the step of the climbers on Tuesday after unveiling the route for the 2020 race featuring a first mountain stage on the second day and only one time trial on the eve of the final day parade on Champs Elysees.

The race could be decided on the penultimate stage in the 36 km solo effort against the clock ending up the Planche des Belles Filles, home to fans' darling Thibaut Pinot, who was in position to win this year's race with two days to go but had to pull out injured.

Pinot will be back on the Tour next year and the super hilly route will favor him as well as defending champion Egan Bernal of Colombia who will face internal competition within team Ineos as four time champion Chris Froome returns after missing this year's event through injury.

''We tried to make it as exciting as possible but it is the riders who make the race,'' Tour director Christian Prudhomme told reporters.

Prudhomme took over as Tour boss in 2006 and has tried to spice up the route. This year's race is no exception with mountain stages stretching from start to finish.

The second stage will take the peloton around Nice with three climbs - Col de la Comiane, Col de Turini and Col d'Eze - on the menu, governing early opportunities to the overall contenders.

There will be two mountain top finishes in the opening six days, a rarity in Tour de France history. that should not suit Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, who fares well in the mountains but makes his mark in time trials. [AFP]


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