Grand Boucle To Tour Arc de Triomphe In 2014

PARIS, Dec 03, 2013 (AFP) – Tour de France organizers on Tuesday revealed
they have obtained permission from the Paris police chief to round the Arc de
Triomphe in 2014.

The world’s greatest cycling race has finished on the Champs Elysees every
year since 1975 but back in July, for the first time, the route extended along
the entire length of the most famous road in Paris to include a ride around
the iconic Arc de Triomphe.

When the original route for the 2014 Tour was published in September,
organizers Amaury Sports Organisation had said the Arc was off limits for 2014
but they have now received the green light from local police.

“The police commissioner has given his agreement for a route identical to
that of 2013,” Tour de France assistant director Pierre-Yves Thouault told AFP.

“The success of the 2013 Tour convinced us to include the same route which
allows us to best promote the race as much as the monuments.”

One change from this year, though, is that in traversing the River Seine
from the Rive Gauche to the Rive Droite before beginning the circuits of the
Champs Elysees, the route will take the peloton over the Alexandre III bridge
opposite the Grand Palais and Petit Palais, instead of the Pont du Carrousel
directly in front of the Louvre museum.

Next year’s final stage will finish a little earlier than this year’s did,
though, with the eighth and final circuit of the Champs Elysees due to end at
around 7:30 pm local time.

For the 100th edition of the Grand Boucle in July, a later finish was
programmed in order to allow for a night-time illumination of the Arc de
Triomphe as part of the award ceremony.

Kenyan-born Chris Froome became the second Briton in a row to win the Tour,
succeeding compatriot Bradley Wiggins who in 2012 was the first ever rider
from the other side of the Channel to finish top of the pile at the end of the
July extravaganza.

The 21st and final stage of next year’s Tour will take place on Sunday,
July 27.