Mont Ventoux
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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti


91st Tour de France - July 3-25, 2004

Tour Tech

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Latest: Bikes of the Tour, part 2: Colnago, Trek & Orbea, Tour tech: Satellite-grade OCLV, HED aerobars, Deda Elementi, Gibo's SRM 'Dale, TdF pro bike: Thomas Voeckler's Boulangère Time, TdF pro bike: Jens Voigt's CSC Cervélo, Tour tech: Shimano carbon, neutral wheels, yellow widgets, tyre topics, Pro bike: Jan Ullrich's T-Mobile Giant TCR, Tour tech: Zabel's cables, Mavic's wheels & Postal's aero bar, A Classic Tour de France: Part I & Part II, Bikes of the 2004 Tour: Part 1, Tour time for Tarmac!, New time trial helmets, Zipp's slippery new wheel revealed


Stages

The jersey winners
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
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Stage 20 - Sunday July 25: Montreau - Paris-Champs-Elysees, 163 km

Mostly a formality, Stage 20 is an all-flat stage that has one final Cat. 4 KOM and a sprint halfway in Livry Gargan before entering Paris for the most famous criterium in the world, eight laps of the Champs-Elysees where maillot vert Robbie McEwen hopes to hold off the rest of the thundering herd for the biggest win of his career, but massive Viking Thor Hushovd could spoil the Queenslander's plans along the way.

Full results, report & photos, Live report

Lance Armstrong (USPS)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
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Stage 19 - Saturday July 24: Besancon - Besancon ITT, 55 km

This 55 km TT is a long and difficult test over undulating terrain with only 5km of flat. One of the longest in recent memory, Stage 19 is harder than last year's TT in Gaillac. Unless a huge defaillance hits Armstrong on the backroads around Besanšon, this stage should be a battle between him and Jan Ullrich. Two podium spots are still up for grabs, as CSC's Ivan Basso hopes to keep his second place spot safe from T-Mobile's onslaught of Andreas Kl÷den (at 1'02 behind Basso) and Jan Ullrich (at 3'59). The big question for the classy Italian, whose weak spot is long TT's, is if he can hold off Ullrich, who will have to ride the TT course 4.4 seconds faster per kilometre than Basso to steal the final podium spot and sew up Team GC for T-Mobile in Paris.

Full results, report & photos, Live report

Filippo Simeoni (Domina Vacanze)
Photo ©: Sirotti
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Stage 18 - Friday July 23: Annemasse - Lons le Saunier, 166.5 km

Annemasse will this year host its first Tour start, however it won't be an easy one. With five categorised climbs in the 166.5 kilometres, everyone today will looking forward to the final 40 km. which are mostly downhill. At 62.5 kilometres from the start, the riders start to ascend the major climb of the stage, the Cat. 2 Col de la Faucille, which averages 6.3% for 11.5 km. The race finishes up in Lons le Saunier with the Cat. 4 C˘te de Nogna at 13 km to go a key point for a late attack. Look for a non-threatening breakaway to go clear in this stage with US Postal riding tempo behind to keep things under control before Saturday's final time trial.

Full results, report & photos, Live report

Armstrong and Basso
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
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Stage 17 - Thursday July 22: Bourg d'Oisans - Le Grand Bornand, 204.5 km

With a tighter vise grip than ever on the 2004 Tour de France, maillot jaune Lance Armstrong and his USPS-Berry Floor team will try to keep the lid on things on what is perhaps the most difficult stage on this year's Tour. With five categorized climbs on the program, including the Cat. 1 Glandon and HC Madeleine in the first 80km, then a Cat. 2 ascent of the Col de Tamie, the steep Cat. 1 Col de la Forclaz and a final ascent of the Cat. 1 Col de la Croix Fry before the 15 km descent to Le Grande-Bornand, Stage 17 is the last major mountain test of the Tour. Look for Jan Ullrich, Andreas Kl÷den and T-Mobile to attack to try to take back time on Basso and CSC and solidify their lead in the team GC.

Full results, report & photos, Live report

Lance Armstrong
Photo ©: Jon Devich
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Stage 16 - Wednesday July 21: Bourg d'Oisans - Alpe d'Huez ITT, 15.5 km

Starting in Bourg-d'Oisans, this is the first major individual time-trial, and it may also be one of the most watched stages of the Tour. This will be the key stage for most of the favourites, racing 15.5 kilometres up the famous 21 switchbacks of L'Alpe d'Huez.

Full results, report & photos, Live report

Leipheimer (Rabobank)
Photo ©: Caroline Yang
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Stage 15 - Tuesday July 20: Valreas - Villard-de-Lans, 180.5 km

The 15th stage starts in Valréas, with a nine kilometre flat section, before the riders hit the difficult Col des Limouches that takes us into the Vercors region. The last 150 kilometres of this stage are very difficult, with a number of category climbs to contend with. The finish is at Côte, which is just above Villard de Lans, after the final three kilometre climb. The end of this stage is at the same place as in 1987 when Stephen Roche outwitted Jean-François Bernard.

Full results, report & photos, Live report

TiTi Voeckler
Photo ©: Caroline Yang
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Rest Day #2 - July 19

The second phase of the Tour de France produced a number of surprises, but not the sort most people expected. As the first major climbs came, nearly all of the top favourites went...backwards or out of the race.

Chris Henry examines the previous week of racing.

A young fan in Nimes
Photo ©: Caroline Yang
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Stage 14 - Sunday July 18: Carcassonne - Nimes, 192.5 km

The Pyrenees are over and with Monday a rest day, Stage 14 is a dead flat transitional stage for sprinters from the fortified city of Carcassonne to Nimes, site of an ancient Roman amphitheatre. Sunday will likely see maillot vert Robbie McEwen and his foes battle it out in final on the last stage left for the fast men before Paris. With a prevailing tailwind from the west along the Mediterranean Sea, Stage 14 is likely to be run at a superfast pace.

Full results, report & photos, Live report

Fans cheer
Photo ©: Jon Devich
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Stage 13 - Saturday July 17: Lannemezan - Plateau de Beille, 205.5 km

The big Pyrenean stage starts in Lannemezan, passing over seven categorised climbs before finishing atop the hors categorie Plateau de Beille (15.9 km at 7.8%). 205 km long, this stage contains an additional two Cat. 1 climbs (Col de la Core, km 99.5 and Col d'Agnes, km 146), two Cat. climbs (Portet d'Aspet, km 64 and Latrape, km 131) and two Cat. 3 ascents (Col des Ares, km 42.5, and Port de Lers, km 155). The intermediate sprints are at Orgibet (km 74) and Ornolac (km 182.5).

Full results, report & photos, Live report

Big storm clouds
Photo ©: Jon Devich
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Stage 12 - Friday July 16: Castelsarrasin - La Mongie, 197.5 km

The first of the Pyrenean stages, today's stage begins at Castelsarrasin, with 120 kilometres of mental preparation before the riders hit the category one Col d'Aspin. Then it's all downhill for the next 12km, before the riders face the next climb of the Col du Tourmalet, finishing at the ski station of La Mongie. This climb is where Lance Armstrong won two years ago after his battle with Beloki.

Full results, report & photos, Live report

Riders descend
Photo ©: Jon Devich
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Stage 11 - Thursday July 15: St Flour - Figeac, 164 km

A short and difficult stage with hardly any flat road, today's stage starts in Saint Flour. Not all of the today's climbs are all that steep, but the constant undulating could cause a few splits in the peloton. The riders that suffered yesterday will be finding it hard to recover over this particular stage, with the constant attacks expected. It will be the brave and aggressive riders that conquer this stage. The finish line is located in Figeac.

Full results, report & photos, Live report

Click here for previous Stage Results

Tour Features

Features & interviews: Where Eagles Dare: A sideways look back to Alpe d'Huez, Lance Armstrong: On top of his game, having fun, Juan Mercado: David vs. Goliath, Thomas Voeckler: The end of the dream, Johan Bruyneel: It's not a formality, really, TdF Rest Day 2 wrap up: Where have all the favourites gone? A victory of another kind for Euskaltel-Euskadi, TdF Retro: Vintage Pantani, TdF Retro: Advantage Armstrong, The Fabulous Baker Boys from Brioches La Boulangère, TdF Retro: Etxebarria's Ecstasy
Diaries: Scott Sunderland: That surreal feeling, Dr Ferrari's commentary: Lance's attitude, Floyd Landis: Paris tomorrow, Davis Phinney: Memories, Paolo Bettini: Calm before the storm, Davis Phinney: An American in Paris & Rest day reflections,
Form guide: Start List, Historical Archives


Tour News

Racing begins
Photo: © Sirotti

Monday, July 26 - Post-Tour headlines, Six for them, too, Floyd, mo-fo of the mountains, Scotty seeks, On the attack, Vandevelde and son all smiles in Paris, Top 10 again Leipheimer, Nee enjoys his Tour commissaire debut
Monday, July 26 - Armstrong atop Tour pantheon with sixth straight win, Ullrich gets close, Julich's ups and downs, Alessio-Bianchi satisfied, Armstrong to race in Prague
Sunday, July 25 - Green jersey: McEwen almost there, Kl÷den surprised, Hoban: "Other riders should try harder", Rogers disappointed
Sunday, July 25 - Armstrong on top of his game, Karpets cleans up, Etxebarrias not in agreement with Armstrong, An interview with Ludovic Martin
Saturday, July 24 - McEwen not resting up yet, Hushovd optimistic, Pre race comments
Saturday, July 24 - David vs. Goliath, Simeoni nailed by Armstrong, , McEwen loses a point, The secret of CSC's success?, Commissaire's communique, Medical communique, Doping control
Friday, July 23 - Armstrong's last Tour?, Levi and the Bandit, Christian at Liberty, Bobby's wrist report, Bartoli for Athens, Merckx agrees with "No Gifts" Armstrong, Verbrugghe wants to show himself on birthday, More post-stage comments
Friday, July 23 - Only the strongest survive, Green jersey battle, Ullrich defends Voigt, Seventh polka dot jersey for Virenque, Simoni goes down fighting, Rogers wants top 20, Caucchioli slips a place, Tour spectator falls to his death, Communiques
Thursday, July 22 - Bruyneel argues against relegation, Another one bites the dust as Heras pulls out, Tombak out, Voigt defends himself, Armstrong tops TT count
Thursday, July 22 - T-Mobile wants the podium, McEwen not happy after Alpe heckling, Leblanc admits Alpe TT "not so good", O'Grady considers a beer stop, Cooke slowed by leg woes
Thursday, July 22 - A sign of the times, Ullrich rising, Post-race comments, Caucchioli keeps ninth, Simoni's had enough, Hamilton in one piece
Wednesday, July 21 - L'Alpe d'Huez: The time to beat, Basso looking forward to l'Alpe, Virenque tries again, Competitions update: new pair up for grabs
Wednesday, July 21 - Green jersey race hinges on stage 18, Armstrong looks forward to l'Alpe, Scary days ahead for Rogers, Netherlands wants Tour start, Bettini aims for Athens, Pre-race banter
Wednesday, July 21 - The maillot jaune changes hands, The end of the dream, Riis defends his tactics, Caucchioli loses time, Communiques
Tuesday, July 20 - Bruyneel plans the last week, Mayo out, Ullrich surprised, Heras tries to stay positive, Lotto-Domo concerned about Alpe d'Huez, Scanlon battles the mountains, White on the mend
Tuesday, July 20 - Where have all the favourites gone?, Postal watch, Basso remains calm, Piil abandons, Nice and easy?

Earlier Tour news