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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini


90th Tour de France - July 5-27, 2003

Stages & Results

2003 Tour preview

The route
Image: © CN
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The complete route of the 2003 Centenary Tour de France was announced on October 24 in Paris at the Palais des Congres. As was previously known, the route will (broadly speaking) follow the original 1903 Tour, which visited six cities: Paris, Lyon, Marseilles, Toulouse, Bordeaux, and Nantes. The 2003 Tour will also visit these cities, although there will certainly be more than six stages!

Lance Armstrong
Photo: © CN
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Reigning four-time TdF champion (1999, 2000, 2001 & 2002) Lance Armstrong explained to Cyclingnews that "I think this is a traditional Tour, actually. It's back to focusing the key mountain days in the middle. The biggest difference (next year) is that there are only three actual uphill finishes which doesn't suit us necessarily. I like the route though. It has an enormous amount of historical perspective while also being very modern."

For more coverage of the presentation, click here

Prologue - Saturday, July 5: Paris, Prologue TT, 6.5 km

Photo: © Jeff Tse
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The Tour kicked off in Paris with a 6.5 kilometre prologue under the Eiffel Tower, with one rider overcoming a puncture in the final 500m to score a huge victory.
Full results & report, Photos, Live report.

Stage 1 - Sunday, July 6: Saint-Denis/Montgeron - Meaux, 168 km

Photo: © Jon Devich/CN
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The first road stage of the Tour took the riders out of Paris for the official start in front of the Cafe Le Réveil Matin, the place where the 1903 Tour de France began. It was a fairly typical stage for the opening week of the Tour, marred by a massive pileup at the end which took out some key riders.
Full results & report, Photos, Live report.

Stage 2 - Monday, July 7: La Ferté-sous-Jouarre - Sedan, 204.5 km

Photo: © AFP
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Monday saw the Centenary Tour heading east from La Ferte-sous-Jouarre across the WW1 battle-scarred hills and plains of the Marne to Sedan for another hard fought sprinters battle.

Full results & report, Live report, Photos

Stage 3 - Tuesday, July 8: Charleville-Mézières - Saint-Dizier 167.5 km

Photo: © J.Devich/CN
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This stage headed due south across the rolling hills of the Marne and Meuse regions to Saint-Dizier, where Napoleon Bonaparte took his final win battle before departing for exile in Elba. It was a vey fast stage, being run at over 48 km/h.

Full results & report, Live report, Photos.

Stage 4 - Wednesday, July 9: Joinville - Saint-Dizier, TTT, 69 km

Photo: © J.Devich/CN
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This flat team time test through the farmlands of the Haute Marne region favoured the power teams like ONCE, USPS and Team Bianchi.

Full results & report, Live report, Photos.

Stage 5 - Thursday, July 10: Troyes - Nevers, 196.5 km

Photo: © Olympia
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From the Champagne city of Troyes, hometown of France's cycling Simon brothers, this transitional stage traverses the quiet farm roads of Yonne and Nievre to arrive in Nevers, home of bike makers Look and Time.

Full results & report, Live report, Photos.

Stage 6 - July 11: Nevers-Lyon, 230km

Photo: © J.Devich/CN
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As the summer heat continues Friday, the Tour peloton will go from Nevers across the upper Loire River valley through Saone-Et-Loire and down into the Rhone River valley to Lyon. Stage 6 ought to be a long hot ride to Lyon, one of the six original Tour villes etapes from the 1903 edition and France's third-largest city.

Full results & report, Live report, Photos.

Stage 7 - July 12: Lyons-Morzine, 230.5 km

Photo: © J.Devich/CN
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With the first mountains looming in the distance east of Lyon, tension will be high at the start of Saturday's Stage 7. Finally, the mountains begin! This is a long, tough stage and there should be an early break, but with the hard 14.3km climb up the Col de la Ramaz with 40km to go, this is where the selection will happen among the favourites. Expect a 20 rider group of Tour favourites to contest a tight sprint on the narrow roads of the ski resort of Morzine-Avoriaz.

Full results & report, Live report, Photos

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stage 8 - July 13: Sallanches-L'Alpe d'Huez, 219km

Photo: © Jeff Tse/CN
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L'Alpe d'Huez is the most renowned of all Tour mountaintop stage finishes. Fausto Coppi won the first ever Tour de France stage to finish on L'Alpe in 1952, and in the last half-century of racing, many a career has been made with a victory on L'Alpe d'Huez. After Saturday's barbeque, Stage 8 will be even hotter, with temps in the mid-30's. Richard Virenque's Quick.Step-Davitamon team will try to defend his lead, while Lance Armstrong and his USPS-Berry Floor squad won't have to control the race. But two questions are still open for tomorrow: whether Armstrong will go for his second stage win on l'Alpe and whether Virenque's Quick.Step team will defend his Maillot Jaune. There is certainly no love lost between USPS director Johan Bruyneel and Quick.Step-Davitamon manager Patrick Lefevre so this might condition the outcome of Sunday's Stage 8.

Stage 8 climbs:

km 10: Cote du Megeve (9.9 km at 5.1%)
km 30: Côte des Rafforts (2.7 km at 8.5%)
km 133.5: Col du Telegraphe (12.1 km at 6.8%)
km 157: Col du Galibier (18.5 km at 6.7%)
km 219: l'Alpe d'Huez (14.1 km at 8%)

Full results & report, Live report, Photos

Stage 9 - Monday July 14: Bourg d'Oisans - Gap, 184.5 km

Photo: © AFP

Whoever lost time in the mountains may be looking to go on the attack on Monday's Stage 9 and with the two long climbs up Lautaret and Izoard, an early attack might work on the way across the southern Alpine hinterlands on the road to Gap.

Stage 9 climbs:

km 10: Cote du Megeve (9.9 km at 5.1%)
km 30: Côte des Rafforts (2.7 km at 8.5%)
km 133.5: Col du Telegraphe (12.1 km at 6.8%)
km 157: Col du Galibier (18.5 km at 6.7%)
km 219: l'Alpe d'Huez (14.1 km at 8%)

Full results & report, Live report, Photos

Stage 10 - Tuesday, July 15: Gap-Marseille, 219.5km

Founded over two and a half millennia ago by wayfaring Greeks, Marseilles was one of the original stops for the 1903 Tour. Marseilles is famous for its ports, gangsters and soap. This stage is mostly downhill through the scrubby back country of Provence along the Durance River Valley. Stage 10 could favour a break that goes early... if the sprinters' teams let it ride to the finish in the picturesque Old Port.

Live coverage starts 19:46 AEST; 11:46 CEST; 05:46 EDT; 02:46 PDT

Wednesday, July 16: Rest day, Transfer to Narbonne

Photo: © Jonathan Devich

As the riders eventually wake up, enjoy a long, hot shower, sit down to a lazy breakfast without the need to inhale a kilo's worth of pasta, and board the team bus to make the transition west to the town of Narbonne, each of the 171 men left in the Tour will no doubt take a moment to reflect on the events over the past week and a half and what lies ahead. So will we.

Stage 11 - Thursday, July 17: Narbonne - Toulouse, 153.5 km

Photo: © Olympia

After a well deserved rest day, the peloton of the Centenary Tour heads from ancient Roman city of Narbonne to Toulouse, centre of France's aviation industry. With only one climb at Stage 11's midpoint, sprinters will likely be seeking another shot at glory in Toulouse.

The hot temperatures of the past week are expected to continue, and riders will likely face a strong northwest headwind as they race toward Toulouse.

Full results & report, Live report, Photos

Stage 12 - Friday, July 18 Gaillac-Cap' Découverte ITT, 47km

Starting in the tiny Tarn village of Gaillac, Stage 12 finishes in the theme park of Cap 'Decouverte, converted from an open-pit coalmine that has become a popular vacation destination in Europe! Generally flat, and not too technical, Armstrong will be looking to don his habitual Maillot Jaune before the weekend mountain stages.

Is Armstrong truly less powerful than in the past, and is his team really beginning to fatigue? John Eustice believes that to be the question du jour.

Results, Live report, Photos

Stage 13: Toulouse-Axe 3 Domaines (Plateau de Bonascre), 197.5km

Starting from Toulouse's ultramodern City of Space aerospace center, Stage 13 transitions south towards the Pyrenees across the verdant Ariege region, into the domaine of the ancient Cathar people. Stage 13 has a final destination of ski station Axe 3 Domaines, at the top of the Plateau du Bonascre, via the steep Porte de Pailheres climb. The Tour arrives in the Pyrenees for three consecutive stages that will likely decide the race. Last time the Tour arrived at Bonascre, the opportunistic Colombian Felix Cardenas of Kelme took the stage win. Watch out for Iban Mayo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) to make it two out of two for mountaintop stage wins today.

Full results, Live report

Stage 14 - Sunday, July 20: Saint-Girons - Loudenvielle, 191.5 km

From Saint Girons, Stage 14 has four Cat.1 climbs on the menu. This could be the stage where Armstrong's rivals attack him on the road to Loudonvielle with its quaint Romanesque architecture. This stage will cross into Spain for a few kilometres and then head for the final two climbs of Portillon and Peyresourde. Last stage winner in Loudonvielle was Laurent Brochard and Le Broche will certainly be trying to repeat six years later for his Ag2r squad.

Full results & report, Live report