Tour de France director Prudhomme suggests Puy de Dôme could hit the road again
The 2022 Tour de France, which kicks off in Copenhagen next weekend, could include a handful of legendary Tour climbs – including Galibier, Alpe d’Huez and Hautacam – but one long unused mountain is back in the spotlight. news this week.
The Puy de Dôme, a 1,465m volcano in the Massif Central, hosted the famous Poulidor-Anquetil duel in the 1964 race and saw Eddy Merckx get hit by a spectator nine years later.
The climb has featured 13 times in the race, beginning with Fausto Coppi’s stage victory at the summit in 1952, but it has not been used since 1988. In the meantime, the construction of a railway line the along the narrow road to the summit and the UNESCO World Heritage Site listing prevented a cycling race to the summit from being organised.
It’s one of the Tour’s famous “forgotten” climbs, but it could make a comeback in years to come.
This week, Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme visited the climb with Laurent Wauquiez, president of the local region, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, and Lionel Chauvin, president of the departmental council, to recon the slopes.
“The dream has become bigger today,” Prudhomme told the regional newspaper. The mountain (opens in a new tab). “There’s a lot of emotion for us because it’s a dream we’ve had in our heads for years.”
“The Puy de Dôme is a myth, our emblem in Auvergne”, declared Wauquiez. “And I always thought it was a mistake to deprive yourself of the potential to come here.”
Prudhomme added that revisiting the Puy de Dôme would continue the Tour’s recent tradition of tackling climbs that were previously considered impossible to climb.
“It fits with our desire to give the mountain back to the champions,” he said. “As we have shown in recent years by going to classified sites or sites that are difficult to access.”
He added that he did not want to make any firm statements or commitments about the future of the climb and the Tour. Other meetings on the Puy de Dôme and the future routes of the Tour are to be expected in the months to come.