Wednesday, October 22, 2008

2009 Tour de France Route Revealed.

The Tour's 2009 route was revealed today in France. There are some interesting things here to note, particularly if you are wondering how it suits a possible Lance Armstrong ride. First off, it remains to be seen if Lance can regain the proper fitness to even be considered a contender. I believe he can. Also of note is the addition of a team time trial. Imagine being on a team with Levi, Alberto and Lance doing a TTT. That's gotta hurt if you are some lowly Domestique hanging on for dear life. They are gonna fly and put a chunk of time on their rivals. I'm even thinking there's a chance for an Astana 1, 2, 3 finish. That would be like Ford when they swept LeMans in 1966 and poked a giant stick in the eye of Ferrari. (Astana's stick in the eye of the one's who left them out of this year's tour)

Alright, you can say I'm getting way ahead of myself here, but I can see it happening and hear the wheels and gears spinning in Johan Bruyneel's head already. If this were to happen, Alberto could get his win, and Astana will become a legendary name in cycling's history. Lance's gracious Super Domestique third place finish will do wonders for his reputation and for his cause of fighting cancer world-wide.

Of course, there's a million reasons why this won't happen as I described above, but hey, Hollywood's made billions on lamer scripts than this. Then again, there's always;

Stages for the 2009 Tour de France

Stage 1 - July 4 - Monaco - Monaco, 15km (individual time-trial)
Stage 2 - July 5 - Monaco - Brignoles, 182km
Stage 3 - July 6 - Marseille - La Grande-Motte, 196km
Stage 4 - July 7 - Montpellier, 38km (team time-trial)
Stage 5 - July 8 - Le Cap d'Agde - Perpignan, 197km
Stage 6 - July 9 - Girona (Spain) - Barcelona (Spain), 175km
Stage 7 - July 10 - Barcelona - Andorra 224km
Stage 8 - July 11 - Andorra-la-Vieille - Saint-Girons, 176km
Stage 9 - July 12 - Saint Gaudens - Tarbes, 160km

● - July 13 - Rest day at Limoges

Stage 10 - July 14 - Limoges - Issoudun, 193km
Stage 11 - July 15 - Vatan – Saint Fargeau, 192km
Stage 12 - July 16 - Tonnerre - Vittel, 200km
Stage 13 - July 17 - Vittel - Colmar, 200km
Stage 14 - July 18 - Colmar - Besanon, 199km
Stage 15 - July 19 - Pontarlier - Verbier (Suisse), 207km

● - July 20 - Rest day at Verbier

Stage 16 - July 21 - Martigny (Switzerland) - Bourg-Saint Maurice, 160km
Stage 17 - July 22 - Bourg-Saint Maurice - Le Grand Bornand, 169km
Stage 18 - July 23 - Annecy - Annecy, 40km (individual time-trial)
Stage 19 - July 24 - Bourgoin-Jallieu - Aubenas, 195km
Stage 20 - July 25 - Montélimar - Mont Ventoux, 167km
Stage 21 - July 26 - Montereau-Fault-Yonne - Paris Champs Elysées, 160km

● 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 kilometers of individual time-trials.
● 20 Category 1, Category 2 and hors categorie passes will be climbed.


Smoky Mountain Hiker said...

It appears to be another great route. But with all the doping scandals that continue to plague Tour riders, and the fact that it appears Lance will be riding in the Giro instead of the Tour this year, one has to wonder if the Giro will surpass the Tour in fan support this year - especially in America?


John P. said...

Jeff, I thought this year's Giro was better than this year's Tour de France too. If lance does the Giro only in 2009 it will definitely be bigger than the tour next year. Especially in the USA, but probably elsewhere also.

Hmmmm, you bring up an interesting twist. Snubbing riding in the tour, then holding your big Cancer Conference in Paris while the tour is going on, complete with heads of state and stars from around the globe in attendance. It might even overshadow the tour. I could see Lance doing that. He's got a sense of humor.