Route du Sud 2016

Route du Sud 2016
Col de Couraduque

The 40th edition of Route du Sud will take place from 16th to 19th June 2016. There are 5 stages which will cover a total distance of 642km. There will be 15 teams taking part and will range from Pro Tour to Continental. It is the last stage race before Le Tour de France and some of the Pro Tour riders use it as final preparation. The race will be live on Eurosport in 60 countries and up to 10,000,000 viewers are expected each day. Eurosport also plan to stream live video from onboard the riders bikes.

16 June- Stage 1 : Saint-Pons-de-Thomières – Bessières (165,9 km)
17 June Stage 2 : Saint-Pierre-de-Trivisy – Albi (92,4 km)
17 June Stage 3 : CLM individuel à Albi-Le Séquestre (13,4 km) Time Trial
18 June Stage 4 : Saint-Gaudens – Val d’Azun Couraduque (184,9 km)
19 June Stage 5 : Gers Astarac Arros-en-Gascogne (154,8 km)

Route du Sud 2016
Route du Sud 2016

Stage 4 on Saturday 18th June, is undoubtedly the queen stage, with 184km from Saint Gaudens to Val d’Azun. The route will climb Col du Tourmalet from the easier eastern side, before climbing Col des Bordères from Pierrefitte, which will take the race through Saint-Savin. Borderés is well known to guests of Pyrenees Cycling lodge. The last 3km are lots of cycling fun. By fun I mean pain! The finish will be on Col de Couraduque, a hidden gems of the Pyrénées.

Route du Sud - Col du Tourmalet
Route du Sud on Col du Tourmalet in 2014

Col de Couraduque
Col de Couraduque

Couraduque has been mentioned in the same sentence as TDF in recent years, as a possible stage finish. Le Tour has often used Route du Sud as a test for future Tour stages. In 2014 they had a stage finish at Lac de Payolle which will now host Le Tour on 8th July this year. Christian Prudhomme the director of Le Tour often travels in the car with the director of Route du Sud, so it will be interesting to see who is in the race director’s car on 18th June.

Col de Couraduque
Col de Couraduque. Not the full story as the 9km before this has 415m of climbing.
Stage 4 Route du Sud 2016
Stage 4 Route du Sud 2016
Stage 4 Map - Route du Sud 2016
Stage 4 Map – Route du Sud 2016
Col de Couraduque Profile
Col de Couraduque Profile

For the 2017 Tour de France, I have already heard talk of Luz Ardiden as a stage finish. As Le Tour should be here in the last week I would expect 2 finishes in the region. Perhaps Couraduque will get a day in the sun.

Christian Prudhomme
Christian Prudhomme at the 2015 Route de Sud

This will be the first time that a pro race has finished up there. From Aucun is is only 6.8km to the finish but it is a great road and the views are awesome. It starts off very steep before a 5% section at 4km to go and then ramps up to 8+ for the last 3km.

Francis Auriac
Francis Auriac

The race will be a tribute to its founder Francis Auriac who passed away earlier this year. He has run the race since 1977. RIP. The race is sponsored by La Dépêche du Midi a regional daily published in Toulouse.

Route du Sud 2015
Alberto Contador leads Route du Sud 2015 out of Lourdes


1977 France Jacques Esclassan (FRA) Peugeot-Esso-Michelin
1978 France Pierre-Raymond Villemiane (FRA) Renault-Gitane
1979 France Yvon Bertin (FRA) Renault-Gitane
1980 France Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle (FRA) Peugeot-Esso-Michelin
1981 France Jean-René Bernaudeau (FRA) Peugeot-Esso-Michelin
1982 Italy Francesco Moser (ITA) Famcucine
1983 France Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle (FRA) Peugeot-Shell-Michelin
1984 France Pascal Simon (FRA) Peugeot-Shell-Michelin
1985 Republic of Ireland Stephen Roche (IRL) La Redoute
1986 Switzerland Niki Rüttimann (SUI) La Vie Claire
1987 France Régis Clere (FRA) Teka
1988 France Ronan Pensec (FRA) Z-Peugeot
1989 France Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle (FRA) Z-Peugeot
1990 France Yves Bonnamour (FRA) Castorama
1991 Switzerland Laurent Dufaux (SUI) Helvetia-La Suisse
1992 Lithuania Arturas Kasputis (LTU) Postobon
1993 France Eric Boyer (FRA) Gan
1994 Colombia Álvaro Mejía (COL) Motorola
1995 Switzerland Laurent Dufaux (SUI) Festina-Lotus
1996 France Laurent Jalabert (FRA) O.N.C.E.
1997 Australia Patrick Jonker (AUS) Rabobank
1998 France Armand De Las Cuevas (FRA) Banesto
1999 United States Jonathan Vaughters (USA) US Postal Service
2000 Poland Tomasz Brożyna (POL) Banesto
2001 Kazakhstan Andrei Kivilev (KAZ) Cofidis
2002 United States Levi Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank
2003 Australia Michael Rogers (AUS) Quick Step-Davitamon
2004 Australia Bradley McGee (AUS)
2005 France Sandy Casar (FRA) Française des Jeux
2006 France Thomas Voeckler (FRA) Bouygues Télécom
2007 Spain Óscar Sevilla (ESP) Relax-GAM
2008 Republic of Ireland Daniel Martin (IRL) Slipstream-Chipotle
2009 Poland Przemysław Niemiec (POL) Miche-Silver Cross
2010 France David Moncoutié (FRA) Cofidis
2011 Belarus Vasil Kiryienka (BLR) Movistar Team
2012 Colombia Nairo Quintana (COL) Movistar Team
2013 France Thomas Voeckler (FRA) Team Europcar
2014 Republic of Ireland Nicola Roche (IRL) Team Tinkoff
2015 Spain Alberto Contador (ESP) Team Tinkoff


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