Tour de France: Mont Ventoux stage finish cancelled

Chris Froome
Chris Froome won the last stage finish at Mont Ventoux in 2013

Stage 12 of the Tour de France will no longer finish on top of Mont Ventoux because of high winds in Provence.

With winds of up to 120km/h expected, the stage will finish six kilometres down the mountain at Chalet Reynard.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme said: "The riders' safety is paramount."

Britain's Chris Froome, who won the last summit finish on Mont Ventoux in 2013 on the way to the first of his two Tour titles, called the decision "the right thing to do".

The defending champion and current yellow jersey holder, second to Peter Sagao on stage 10, added: "Everyone wants to see a great show but the most important thing for the riders is safety.

"Of course I was looking forward to doing Ventoux - it's the most iconic climb, the most legendary climb in this year's race.

"There are gale force winds and it just wouldn't be safe for the riders, so thank you to the organisers for making the decision."

However, Froome said the move would not detract from the importance of a finish on Ventoux, on Bastille Day, the French national holiday.

"I don't think it really changes too much," he said. "The climb until Chalet Reynard is extremely hard. A lot of wind is predicted.

"There could be a split (in the peloton) even before the climb. I don't know what to expect. If anything it's going to mean an even more intense race before we hit the climb because it's going to be shorter."

The ascent will still be 15km and the final 10km will feature an average gradient of around 9%.

On hearing the news, world champion Sagan, who is not renowned as a climber, said: "It's going to be 6km shorter? Wow, nice!"

The ascent of Mont Ventoux achieved notoriety on 13 July 1967 when Britain's first world road race champion Tommy Simpson died close to the summit after taking a cocktail of amphetamines and alcohol in an attempt to combat fatigue.

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