Tour de France 2009: The Complete Highlights

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Released 22-Sep-2009
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The greatest cycle race of them all... the Tour de France

Running from Saturday July 4th to Sunday July 26th 2009, the 96th Tour de France will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,500 kilometres. The launch of the 2009 Tour from Monaco will be especially appreciated as starts from the south are rare. Indeed, the competition has only set off four times from the south in thirty years and only once from the south-east: in the neighbouring Alpes-Maritimes region, in 1981, when Bernard Hinault dominated the race from the outset on the prologue in Nice, heralding a magnificent come-back, one year after his knee failed him on the foray into the Pyrenees. After the official presentation of the riders, the magnificent setting of the Rock will be the site of the opening test, a fifteen kilometre time trial whose course will in part follow the twists and turns of the most famous Formula One circuit in the world. This stage will be a sporting challenge with physical and technical virtues called upon to counter the rising and falling landscape. Aesthetically speaking too, this leg promises to be a splendid one, with the Mediterranean as a backdrop in an environment of stunning natural beauty.

These 21 stages have the following profiles:

- 10 flat stages,

- 7 mountain stages,

- 1 medium mountain stage,

- 2 individual time-trial stages,

- 1 team time-trial stage.

Distinctive aspects of the race

- 3 mountain finishes,

- 2 rest days,

- 55 kilometres of individual time-trials,

- 20 Category 1, Category 2 and highest level passes will be climbed.

8 new stop-over towns Brignoles, Gerone (Espagne), Issoudun, Martigny (Suisse), Saint-Fargeau, Tonnerre, Vatan, Verbier (Suisse). The Mont Ventoux on the day before the Champs-Elysses

Never in the history of the event has a mountain been on the programme the day before the finish in Paris. This will be the case this year with the Ventoux mountain finish on the 20th stage.

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