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Tour de France 2016 race route unveiled

media Britain's Chris Froome (centre),celebrates his 2015 Tour de France win. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

The complete 2016 route for cycling's most prestigious race, the Tour de France, was revealed at a ceremony in Paris on Tuesday. Mont Blanc, western Europe's highest mountain, will take a starring role, while Mont Ventoux, the scene of Chris Froome's decisive stage victory in 2013, will once again feature.

The first stage will end at Normandy's famous Utah Beach, one of the D-Day landings sites during World War 11, following a Grand Depart from the Mont St Michel heritage site.

Philippe Bas, president of the department council of La Manche, said riders would venture through 100 years of history in 188 kilometres.

The race then visits the Pyrenees, the Alps, and Bern in Switzerland.

There'll be a twisting 37 kilometre individual time trial into the Gorges de l’Ardeche valley, on stage 13, and a mountain time trial between Sallanches and Megève, on stage 18.

Both are likely to be turning points in the race.

Froome, who won his second Tour yellow jersey this year, is hoping to become the first man to defend his title since Miguel Indurain, back in 1995.

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