Tuesday | 19 Jan 2016

Monte countdown: Rally route

Rallye Monte-Carlo may conjure up images of Monaco's glitz and glamour, but it is the bleak and inhospitable mountain roads of the French Alps where the opening round of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship will be won and lost.

This year's route is familiar to the drivers, although organisers have ensured each of the four legs contains a new special stage compared to last year.

The glamorous facade of Monte-Carlo's Casino Square hosts Thursday night's start before the long journey north to Gap via the Alpes-Maritimes and Alpes-de-Haute Provence, where two night stages are run. The live TV Entrevaux - Rouaine test opens the action before Barles - Seyne, which has never been used in this direction.

Friday's second leg features three morning stages north of Gap, which are repeated in the afternoon. All were used last year, but the opening Corps - La Salle en Beaumont is driven in the opposite direction.

Saturday's third leg is the longest of the weekend covering almost 174km of stages. It includes two passes over the marathon 51.17km Lardier et Valenca - Faye and concludes with the classic Sisteron - Thoard, as drivers journey south to Monaco for the overnight halt.

Only the top 60 cars in the rankings will tackle Sunday's final leg. After Col de l'Orme - St Laurent which crosses the Col de Braus, comes one of the season's highlights with the famous ascent of the Col de Turini in the La Bollène-Vésubie - Peïra Cava test.

The live TV Power Stage closes the event with a second pass over Col de l'Orme - St Laurent.

The 16 stages cover 377.59km in a total route of 1488.99.

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