Cycling News Flash for October 25, 2007
Edited by Bjorn Haake
A modest Grand Tour
By Gregor Brown in Paris
L'Alpe d'Huez: A week-long campground
Photo ©: Jon Devich
The Tour de France will be a Grand Tour
of modest terms for 2008. As this year's route is being presented
in Paris, Cyclingnews has confirmed that there will be no transfers
in the 3554 kilometres that make up next year's three-week race, July
5 to 27.
"Sometimes less is more in a Grand Tour," noted Quick.Step Team Manager
Patrick Lefevere in Paris.
The race kicks off on Saturday, July 5, with its Grand Départ
in the cycling-rich province of Brittany. (Read news item Tour
de France 2008 to start in Brest and visit Italy.) It then travels
in a counter-clockwise motion, hitting the Pyrénées and then the Alps
before its traditional finish on the Champs-Élysées, Sunday, July 27,
Keeping in its modest terms, the 95th edition will contain one time trial
of 29 kilometres in Cholet and a second one – of normal Tour length –
on the penultimate day of 53 kilometres, from Cerilly to Saint-Amand-Montrond.
"Maybe I might have to modify my training a little," Cadel Evans, second
in the 2006 Tour, said to Cyclingnews when he heard of the minimal
time trial kilometres.
The modesty of the world's largest bike race will be forgotten when riders
hit the high peaks near Spain and Italy. Planned is a return to Hautacam,
a romp up the 2802-metre Col de la Bonnette-Restefonds and the mythical
Alpe d'Huez. The demanding mountains and minimal time trials will make
a 2008 Tour de France that favours the mountain men.
Please return to Cyclingnews for the full parcours of the Tour
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
John Pierce/Photosport International
Alpe d'Huez is in the mix again
making for an exciting showdown between the overall hopefuls towards the end of the race.
Alberto Contador wants to defend his title
and decided to not change winning ways, moving to Astana with Johan Bruyneel and some of his Discovery team-mates.
Oscar Pereiro will be hoping to get his second Tour
title in a more straightforward way than his 2006 win, which he received some 15 months after the finish in Paris.
The Spaniards Contador and Pereiro
are brothers in arms for now.
Hans-Michael Holczer from Gerolsteiner
welcomed the Tour route and stated that "The teams gave some input that was listened to."
Jonathan Vaughters is heading
the powerful Slipstream team, slated to be the next big American team after the folding of Discovery Channel.
Johan Bruyneel with new team
and old goals; another Tour triumph would be great for the Belgian.
Christian Prudhomme was all smiles
as he is now fully in charge of Le Tour. The first thing that went were the transfers. Nice!
Erik Breukink is directeur sportif at Rabobank
and is ok with the course, based on his smile.
Jonathan Vaughters is looking for the time trial
kilometres, but no matter how he adjusted his glasses, they didn't come full swing.
Bernard Hinault, the five time winner
who is now overseeing the race.
Rolf Aldag of T-Mobile was present as well
Aldag looks at the map.
Italy – yes, but no Germany or any other countries in 2008; One may almost call it a true Tour de France.
Aldag will head to Brest
with a strong team if the current anti-doping investigations won't dismantle the team before July.
Alberto Contador is already thinking
about Alpe d'Huez.
Cadel Evans is not quite sure
what to think of the route. There aren't enough time trial kilometres for his liking.
Evans may change his training
but the Australian certainly has a shot at the Tour.
Contador already shows
the confident smile of a winner.
Not only Contador was focused
but 2007 runner-up Evans on the left and 2006 Pereiro as well.
Contador, Pereiro and Evans
will that be the podium in 2008?
Cadel Evans is trying to get more time trial
kilometres by intensely staring at the organizers.
Evans in the media mass
or was that mess?
Alberto Contador is happy with the route
and its lack of time trialing, though he preferred to "have the longer time trial first."
Christian Prudhomme addresses
the gathered folks to explain his thoughts on the route.
Jonathan Vaughters is hoping for an invite
of Slipstream to the 2008 Tour. He has gathered riders to make it a realistic goal.
Le Grand Départ
will be in the Bretagne/Brittany.
Erik Breukink will hope to forget
the 2007 Tour disaster with Rasmussen and make better headlines next year.
Vaughters' team has a strong anti-doping program
and this may play a decisive factor when it comes to the invitations for next year.
Bernard Hinault smiles
as he likes the route.
The five-time winner will hope
that Frenchmen can lighten it up, some 20 years after his last win.
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