This morning in Paris the Tour de France organizers announced the route for the 2009 tour which promises to be the most international tour for many years starting in the Principality of Monaco – it will pass through the countries of Spain, Andorra, Switzerland and Italy before finishing on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris.
Instead of the final weekend coming down to the usual individual race against the clock, the final showdown will be on the slopes of Le Mont Ventoux – the last of four summit finishes – on the day before the race finishes in Paris.
"The objectives of the race designers nevertheless remain exactly the same: to provide a varied terrain, in terms of both sport and aesthetics, in order to fire the imagination of champions and thrill enthusiasts, and to stimulate interest and suspense throughout the event," said Tour Director Christian Prudhomme.
According to Cycling News:
"The race will begin on July 4 with a 15-kilometre time trial around the millionaires' playground of Monte Carlo, which will include several iconic sections of the Monaco Grand Prix motor racing circuit, before heading west along the south coast of France. Despite this longer-than-usual first test though, the time triallists will once again feel slightly short-changed with only 55 individual kilometres against the clock.
The team time trial returns, to replace some of those individual kilometres with a 38-kilometre stage in Montpelier before heading south and – as leaks and rumours over the past months have indicated – venture over the border with Spain for a stage between Girona and Barcelona, where the race will visit for the first time since 1965."
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July 4, stage 1: Monaco ITT, 15km
July 5, stage 2: Monaco - Brignolles
July 6, stage 3: Marseille - La Grande Motte
July 7, stage 4: Montpellier - Montpellier, TTT 38km
July 8, stage 5: Cap d’Agde - Perpignan
July 9, stage 6: Gerona - Barcelona, 167km (Spain)
July 10, stage 7: Barcelona - Andorra-Arcalis, 224km (uphill finish)
July 11, stage 8: Andorra-la-Vella - St-Girons
July 12, stage 9: St-Gaudens - Tarbes (via the Tourmalet)
July 13, rest day and transfer to Limoges
July 14, stage 10: Limoges - Issoudun, 192km
July 15, stage 11: Vatan - St-Fargeaud, 200km
July 16, stage 12: Tonnerre - Vittel, 200km
July 17, stage 13: Vittel - Colmar (via col de la Schlucht)
July 18, stage 14: Colmar - Besançon
July 19, stage 15: Pontarlier - Verbier (Switzerland)
July 20, rest day
July 21, stage 16: Martigny - Bourg-St-Maurice (via col du Grand-St-Bernard and Petit-St-Bernard)
July 22, stage 17: Bourg-St-Maurice - Le Grand Bornand (via 5 climbs, starting with Cormet de Roselend, finishing with col de la Colombière)
July 23, stage 18: Annecy, ITT 40km
July 24, stage 19: Bourgoin - Jallieu-Aubenas
July 25, stage 20: Montélimar - Le Mont Ventoux
July 26, stage 21: Montereau - Paris/Champs-Elysées