The 2013 Tour de France will feature a historic night-time finish in Paris
Last Updated: 24/10/12 2:56pm
The Champs Elysees will host a Tour de France finale at night-time in 2013
The Tour de France will celebrate its centenary in 2013 with a night-time finish in Paris for the first time in the race's history.
Organisers revealed the eagerly-awaited route on Wednesday in Paris, with the highlights including a summit finish on Mont Ventoux and two climbs of Alpe d'Huez on the same day.
It features 28 mountain passes, a couple more than this year, and could play into the hands of 2012 runner-up Chris Froome more than winner Bradley Wiggins, who appears likely to prioritise the Giro d'Italia.
The race starts in Corsica, meaning every department in France will have hosted the race in its century of editions, with the first three stages taking place on the Meditteranean island.
A team time-trial in Nice marks the return to the mainland and there will be two more tests against the clock, one finishing at the historic Mont St Michel and the other providing a test between taxing Alpine stages.
The opening week of the race will give sprinters a chance to shine, and Mark Cavendish could well get his hands on the yellow jersey for the first time on the opening flat run into Bastia.
Cycling looking to move on
The Pyrenees provide the first climbing tests with a couple of summit finishes on stages eight and nine ahead of a transfer to Brittany where the first individual time trial takes place.
But the race is expected to be won in the Alps with the race's toughest stage expected to come on Bastille Day (14 July), a mammoth 242km ride finishing atop the legendary Mont Ventoux
A second rest day precedes the final time-trial over 32km, before a climb over the legendary Alpe d'Huez, which features twice on a day that will also prove crucial in determining the 2013 champion.
Stages 19 and 20 will provide more opportunities to attack the race leader, with summit finishes at Le Grand-Bornand and Semnoz, before the final day run to Paris starting at the Palace of Versailles.
The last stage will start later in the day than traditionally and timed for a finish at about 9pm, while there is still enough light to ensure riders' safety, said Tour organiser Christian Prudhomme, who also confirmed the peloton will race around the historic Arc de Triomphe.
"We wanted the finish of the 100th Tour to be unique," Prudhomme said.
As for the topic which has dominated the sport over the past fortnight, Prudhomme added: "Doping is the enemy. The Tour will be stronger than doping."
Tour de France schedule 2013
June 29, Stage 1: Porto Vecchio-Bastia, 212 km
June 30, Stage 2: Basta-Ajaccio, 154 km
July 1, Stage 3: Ajaccio-Calvi, 145 km
July 2, Stage 4: Nice-Nice, team time trial, 25 km
July 3, Stage 5: Cagnes sur Mer-Marseille, 219 km
July 4, Stage 6: Aix en Provence-Montpellier, 176 km
July 5, Stage 7: Montpellier-Albi, 205 km
July 6, Stage 8: Castres-Ax 3 Domaines, 194 km
July 7, Stage 9: St Girons-Bagneres de Bigorre, 165 km
July 8, Rest day in St Nazaire
July 9, Stage 10: St Gildas des Bois-St Malo, 193 km
July 10, Stage 11: Avranches-Mont St Michel, individual time trial, 33 km
July 11, Stage 12: Fougeres-Tours, 218 km
July 12, Stage 13: Tours-St Amand Montrond, 173 km
July 13, Stage 14: St Pourain sur Sioule-Lyon, 191 km
July 14, Stage 15: Givors-Mont Ventoux, 242 km
July 15, Rest day in the Vaucluse department
July 16, Stage 16: Vaison la Romaine-Gap, 168 km
July 17, Stage 17: Embrun-Chorges, individual time trial, 32 km
July 18, Stage 18: Gap-Alpe d'Huez, 168 km
July 19, Stage 19: Bourg d'Oisans-Le Grand Bornand, 204
July 20, Stage 20: Annecy-Annecy Semnoz, 125 km
July 21, Stage 21: Versailles-Paris Champs Elysees