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Jan 15, 2015 – Organizers announced Thursday that the Tour de France will host a stage, and a rest day, in Andorra during the 2016 edition, which is due to start in Normandy.
Tour director Christian Prudhomme signed an agreement with Andorra’s tourism minister Francesc Camp for the principality to host the end of one stage, a rest day and the beginning of the next stage. It will be the Tour’s first appearance in Andorra in seven years, since Frenchman Brice Feillu triumphed at Arcalis, and fifth in total.
Stage 7 of the 2009 Tour de France was also the site of the now infamous ‘unauthorized’ attack by Contador on the slopes of the Arcalis, leaving Lance Armstrong, his teammate on Astana at the time, unable to follow and ending any honeymoon the two enjoyed. Contador established his supremacy on the Astana team that day, regardless of the PR, with a 22second gap at the top.
The Arcalis climb in Andorra also foreshadowed other rivalries, with Andy Schleck the only rider to follow Contador’s attack and Bradley Wiggins producing his first quality ride in the high mountains.
While the route for the 2016 stages in Andorra has yet to be announced, the allure of the giant Arcalis is hard to ignore. The exact details of the three days in Andorra will be revealed when the full 2016 route is announced in October.