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Landslide threatens this year's Tour de France

Geologists are predicting a major landslide at one of the most famous routes in the Tour de France. The organizers are being forced to come up with solutions before the race next month.

A landslide is threatening to disrupt the 20th and penultimate stage of the Tour de France this year.

The climb at L'Alpe d'Huez is an iconic part of the famous race and has been a key stage for more than six decades. The stage is regarded by many as the period where the race can be won and lost.

But geologists are predicting a 250,000-tonne heap will tumble towards Lake Chambon by July when the 102nd edition of the race is underway.

"The stage itself is not under threat, that's for sure, the Tour de France will get to l'Alpe-d'Huez," said regional governor Jean-Pierre Barbier. "We're just not sure how yet."

Plans for a five-million-euro ($5.6 million) replacement road have been rubber-stamped, but are waiting for approval by the local authorities.

Meanwhile, a report from the Reuters news agency claims organizers of the Tour de France may withdraw from the calendar of the International Cycling Union (UCI).

Reuters quotes a source close to the UCI management committee who reveals a withdrawal is possible if reforms to cycling's main governing body don't go ahead as planned.

A potential split between Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), who are organizers of the tour, and the UCI could create a damaging split in cycling and threaten the 2016 event.

rd (AFP, Reuters, SID)