Island start for 2018 Tour de France
Next year's Tour de France will begin on an island in the Vendee department in the Loire region on the west coast, organisers ASO revealed on Tuesday.
The Grand Depart of the 105th edition of the world's most prestigious cycle race will start on June 30 on the 4km Passage du Gois, a natural periodically flooded land-bridge from the island of Noirmontier to the mainland, with a 195km flat stage.
After a second flat stage of 185km, the third stage on July 2 will be a 35km team timetrial around Cholet.
The race will then leave the Vendee department the following day although the destination of the fourth stage and the programme for the rest of the 2018 Tour will not be revealed until October.
In the meantime, the 2017 Tour will start in Duesseldorf, Germany on July 1.
Britain's Chris Froome is the current champion having won the race for the third time last year.