Tour de France - '2012 Tour route' reportedly leaked
A route for the 2012 Tour de France has appeared briefly online a week ahead of the official unveiling.
The details, which have not been authenticated, would appear to favour the chances of cyclists like Britain's Bradley Wiggins, with considerably less mountain stages and two individual time trials as well as a prologue.
The Amuary Sports Organisation, who organise the tour, neither confirmed nor denied whether the route which appeared online was correct.
"I can't tell you anything about this. We are fixing it now internally. The only person who could comment on it would be (race director) Christian Prudhomme himself," Claude Rasch told Cyclingnews.
But with brief details of each stage appearing to fit some of the rumours circulating about the route, many have taken it as genuine.
His 2011 Tour ended early when he crashed out having broken his collarbone, but he rebounded to finish third in the Vuelta a Espana.
But where the 2011 route contained six mountain stages, four mountain finishes and a single individual time trial, the leaked route offers three mountain finishes and two individual time trials.
With an increased number of flat stages in next year's Tour as well, there appears to be ample opportunity for Mark Cavendish to win stages and defend his green jersey in the 2012 event.
However, Cavendish's plans are not yet known, with the Manx sprinter still to confirm his choice of team for next season.
The leaked 2012 Tour de France route:
P Prologue Sat 30 June Liège > Liège 6.1 km
1 Road stage Sun 1 July Liège > Seraing 198 km
2 Road stage Mon 2 July Visé > Tournai 207 km
3 Road stage Tues 3 July Orchies > Boulogne-sur-Mer 197 km
4 Road stage Weds 4 July Abbeville > Rouen 214 km
5 Road stage Thurs 5 July Rouen > Saint-Quentin 197 km
6 Road stage Fri 6 July Épernay > Metz 210 km
7 Road stage Sat 7 July Tomblaine > La Planche des Belles Filles 199 km
8 Road stage Sun 8 July Belfort > Porrentruy 154 km
9 Time trial Mon 9 July Arc-et-Senans > Besançon 38 km
10 Road stage Weds 11 July Mâcon > Bellegarde-sur-Valserine 194 km
11 Mountains Thurs 12 July Albertville > La Toussuire - Les Sybelles 140 km
12 Mountains Fri 13 July Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne > Annonay 220 km
13 Road stage Sat 14 July Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux > Le Cap d’Agde 215 km
14 Road stage Sun 15 July Limoux > Foix 192 km
15 Road stage Mon 16 July Samatan > Pau 160 km
16 Mountains Weds 18 July Pau > Bagnères-de-Luchon 197 km
17 Mountains Thurs 19 July Bagnères-de-Luchon > Peyragudes 144 km
18 Road stage Fri 20 July Blagnac > Brive-la-Gaillarde 215 km
19 Time trial Sat 21 July Bonneval > Chartres 52 km
20 Road stage Sun 22 July Rambouillet > Paris Champs-Élysées 130 km