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PARIS (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 this year, 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 October, organizer ASO 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, with the eighth and final circuit of the Champs Elysees due to end at around 7:30 p.m. local time.
For the 100th edition of the Grand Boucle in July, a later finish was programmed in order to allow for a nighttime illumination of the Arc de Triomphe as part of the award ceremony.
Kenyan-born Chris Froome (Sky) became the second Briton in a row to win the Tour, succeeding compatriot and teammate Bradley Wiggins, who in 2012 was the first ever rider from the other side of the English Channel to finish atop the Tour standings.
The 21st and final stage of next year’s Tour will take place on Sunday, July 27.
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Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) will debut what will be a different kind of season in 2014 at the Santos Tour Down Under (January 19-26).
Evans is throwing his ambitions behind a strong run at the Giro d’Italia in May, meaning that the UCI WorldTour opener will be more than just a way to stretch his legs in front of home crowds.
“Cadel has his sights set on victory at the Giro d’Italia in 2014 and will be keen to start the season well and build towards this goal,” race director Mike Turtur said in a press release. “I’m sure we will see strong performances from all of the BMC Racing Team riders competing, plus plenty of passion from fans excited to have Cadel Evans back racing on home soil.”
Evans hasn’t raced in the Tour Down Under since debuting his rainbow jersey in 2010.
After riding to third in the 2013 Giro and struggling through the Tour de France to finish 39th overall, the 2011 Tour champ is recalibrating his 2014 objectives, putting the Giro front and center, and leaving the Tour captaincy in the hands of Tejay Van Garderen.
Joining Evans in Australia will be Brent Bookwalter and Rick Zabel, the son of German sprinter Erik Zabel, who will be making his WorldTour debut.
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MILAN (VN) — The Giro d’Italia organizer dismissed race director Michele Acquarone today over a fraud investigation involving 13 million euros ($17.6 million) that went missing, according Italy’s La Presse website. Acquarone will hold a press conference Thursday with Paolo Bellino, reported to be the new race boss.
La Presse reported other shake-ups as well. In addition to Acquarone, RCS Mediagroup fired media relations director Matteo Pastore and former CEO Giacomo Catano.
RCS Mediagroup began the investigation of its sports subsidiary, RCS Sport, at the end of September. It suspended Acquarone immediately as a precautionary measure and sent him home with pay.
Acquarone says he had nothing to do with the stolen money. He told VeloNews two months ago, “I know there are people that may think I have a hand in this incident, but I’ve always worked with transparency.”
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