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90th Tour de France - July 5-27, 2003
The Route - Something old, something new
The 2003 Tour de France stage by stage
By Tim Maloney Cyclingnews European Editor
The parcours of the 2003 Tour de France is a tribute to the history of the century-old Grand Boucle, visiting the six original cities of the first edition of the 1903 Tour de France. Starting in Paris, Le Tour Centenaire traverses le hexagone of France via Lyon and the Alpes, Toulouse and the Pyrenees, Bordeaux, Nantes and back again to Paris.
The Tour de France 2003 consists of a prologue and 20 stages, with a total distance of 3,427.5km, including ten flat stages, seven mountain stages, two individual time trial stages (104km total, plus the 6.5km prologue) and one 68km team time trial stage.
Along the road from Paris to Paris, the TdF 2003 peloton will encounter three tough mountaintop stage finishes, enjoy two rest days, and make one transfer by car and one by TGV train. However, the centenary edition of Le Tour isn't all retro, with 10 new stage towns for 2003: Meaux, La Ferté-sous-Jouarre, Sedan, Saint-Dizier, Joinville, Sallanches, Gaillac, Cap Découverte, Saint-Maxente-L'Ecole, Pornic.
Although the 2003 Tour de France is not that difficult, the special tension always present at the Tour, magnified by the pomp and circumstance of the centenary edition should provide a big challenge to American Lance Armstrong, who is seeking a fifth consecutive win in the Grande Boucle.
Click on the stage for a full profile and description. To take a stage-by-stage tour of the route, start at the Prologue and click the 'Next stage' links on each page.