Tour de France opening stage announced
Tour de France organisers have been consulting their tide tables to ensure a low tide on June 30, 2018 when the opening stage of the Tour de France travels across the Passage du Gois in the Vendee region, which is submerged when the tide is in.
Tour de France 2018 leaves from Noirmoutier-en-l'Ile
Next year's Grand Depart will begin on the island of Noirmoutier-en-l'Ile and immediately travel across the natural passageway to the mainland as part of the 195-kilometre opening leg.
Day one of the Grand Tour will travel down the Vendee coast and finish inland at Fontenay-le-Comte, before the peloton face a 185km route on stage two.
That will see the riders leave Mouilleron-Saint Germain for La Roche-sur-Yon, a classic Tour route that has not been used for a stage finish for 80 years and is expected to favour the sprinters.
Team time trial around Cholet
A team time trial around the village of Cholet completes Vendee's hosting of the 2018 Grand Depart, the world's greatest cycle race leaving La Baule on stage four for the remaining two and a half weeks of competition.
Where the fourth challenge will finish is yet to be confirmed, with the full route set to be announced on October 17 at the Palais des Congres de Paris.
Tour de France 2017
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