Chris Froome says 2020 Tour de France will be hardest in years
Last Updated: 15/10/19 4:39pm
Chris Froome says the battle for the yellow jersey at next year's Tour de France will be the hardest for years.
The 2020 edition, which starts on June 27, will conclude with a tough uphill time trial at La Planche des Belles Filles in the Vosges Mountains, before the traditional sprint stage in Paris.
Organisers ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation) have planned a route that visits all five mountain ranges in France but is short on sprint opportunities, favouring attacking riders.
Four-time Tour de France champion Froome, who was in Paris to hear the race details on Tuesday, said: "I think it's a brutal Tour - probably the hardest I've seen in the last five or six years at least.
"It's great - there's loads of opportunities for the general classification to play out and the main rivals to go head to head.
"That's what everyone wants to see. It should be an exciting race, hopefully it will live up to the same standards as this year."
Although the 36 km battle on stage 20 may come to define the race, it is the only time trial in the entire three weeks with the focus instead on medium and high mountain stages.
There will be no return to either Alpe d'Huez or Mont Ventoux next summer and only two stages in the traditional battleground of the Pyrenees, but the Massif Central and the Alps will play a key role before a final phase in the Jura and
Froome is targeting a return for the race after a crash earlier this year that almost ended his career.
"Given the injuries I've had I think a lot of people would have seen that as a career-ending crash," he added.
"I'm extremely lucky to be where I am now.
"I just see it as such an amazing opportunity that I have ahead of me now, that we're even talking about coming back for next year."