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94th Tour de France, July 7-29, 2007

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Tour Tech


 

Stages

Stage 20 - Sunday, July 29: Marcoussis - Paris Champs-Élysées, 146km

The Italian held off
Photo ©: AFP
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It's all over but the shouting; stage 20 starts in the Essone town of Marcoussis, then loops through the hilly Chevreuse valley before it enters Paris for the eight circuits on the Champs-Élysées. It will be an emotional moment as always as the Maillot Jaune and his victorious team lead the race into the capital of France leaving the sprinters to battle it out for final stage glory.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Stage 19 - Saturday, July 28: Cognac - Angoulême, 55.5km

Alberto Contador (Discovery Channel)
Photo ©: AFP
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The second and final race of truth at the 2007 Tour is a long flat individual time trial that could decide the winner of the race if the GC standings are close. With long, wide straight roads, stage 19 is for a true time trial specialist, but the riders who are in contention for the 2007 Tour title will have to have good legs on a course that requires a lot of power and concentration.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Stage 18 - Friday, July 27: Cahors - Angoulême, 211km

Sandy Casar (Française Des Jeux)
Photo ©: AFP
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Friday's next to last en-ligne stage of the Tour de France may offer another opportunity for attacking riders to take their leave, or perhaps the sprinters' teams may not be too tired to chase down any escapees. Stage 18 heads northwest towards Paris, from gastronomic capital Cahors in the Quercy region, across the Dordogne region to finish in the market town of Angoulême, capital of the Charente region. The first third of the stage has a few climbs, but the final 140 kilometres are flat and wide open to the finish.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Stage 17 - Thursday, July 26: Pau - Castelsarrasin, 188.5km

Daniele Bennati (Lampre-Fondital)
Photo ©: AFP
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After the mountains come, the rolling hills from Pau to Castelsarrasin that will see the opportunistic riders take their last chance for a stage by going on the attack. With five lower category climbs across upper Gascony certain to provoke attacks, a break should make it home across the hot, dry plains of Haute-Garonne west of Toulouse to Castelsarrasin.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Stage 16 - Wednesday, July 25: Orthez - Gourette-Col d’Aubisque, 218.5km

Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank)
Photo ©: AFP
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After the well-earned final rest day in Pau and with five days still to go to Paris, the riders are not yet done with the Pyrenees, or rather, the Pyrenees are not yet done with the Tour riders. For stage 16 has four difficult climbs on the program, including the hors catégorie Port de Larrau, a steep 14.5-kilometre monster that leads the Tour for a short visit into Spain, then a finish atop the hors catégorie Col d'Aubisque. This stage will be the last chance for riders who are looking to move up the GC ladder and look for a huge turnout of Basque fans to support their orange clad Euskaltel-Euskadi riders. If Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) takes the win atop the d'Aubisque, the Basques will cheer just the same.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Stage 15 - Monday, July 23: Foix - Loudenvielle - Le Louron, 196km

Alexander Vinokourov (Astana)
Photo ©: AFP
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After a difficult time trial and then a hard mountain-top finish atop Plateau de Beille, stage 15 to Foix Loudenvielle to Le Louron is the Queen Stage of the 2007 Tour de France. The long, difficult traverses the heart of the Hautes-Pyrénées from Foix in the Ariege region, with the Col de Port as the opener after just 27.5 kilometres. Then stage 15 rolls through the beautiful countryside around Saint-Girons before assaulting the challenging second-half of the stage, with the steep Cat. 2 Col de Portet d'Aspet, then the steeper Cat. 1 Col de Menté, the new hors catégorie ascent of the Port de Balès, a 19.5-kilometre climb that averages a 6.2% grade, with the final 10 kilometres at 8.5% which should show who is the strongest in this year's Tour. However, the terrible stage 15 isn't done yet, as the steep 10 kilometres Col de Peyresourde awaits before the technical descent to Loudenvielle Le Louron. Look for Ag2r Prévoyance's Christophe Moreau and Rabobank's Michael Rasmussen to battle for the Maillot Blanc à Pois Rouges of Best Climber across the five cols of stage 15.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Stage 14 - Sunday, July 22: Mazamet - Plateau-de-Beille, 197km

Alberto Contador (Discovery Channel)
Photo ©: AFP
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Sunday's first stage in the Pyrenees heads south from Mazamet, the hometown of Laurent Jalabert and climbs out of town via the Cat. 2 nine-kilometre Côte de Saint-Sarraille, across the Montagne Noir massif and the flats of Carcassonne, Limoux and Quillan. From there it will be the steep 17 kilometres of the hors catégorie Port de Pailhères and then the final ascent that finishes atop the stiff 16-kilometre hors catégorie Plateau de Beille. Coming the day after the tough stage 13 time trial, and with two steep hors catégorie climbs in the final 65 kilometres, stage 14 will definitively separate the pretenders from the contenders for the win in the 2007 Tour de France.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Stage 13 - Saturday, July 21: Albi - Albi, 54km

Alexander Vinokourov (Astana)
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After two weeks of racing, the 54-kilometre race of truth in Albi will make another important selection towards determining who will win the 2007 Tour de France. A twisty, tricky out and back time test, stage 13 could prove unlucky for riders who are not competent time trialists. The first 20 kilometres are a gradual uphill, then the course is downhill and flat until the 34-kilometre point, where the four-kilometre climb up the sinuous Cat. 4 Côte de la Bauzié awaits. Then there is a difficult descent and return to Albi on the D999 road where an experienced tester can make a difference. Look for a major battle between Discovery Channel's Levi Leipheimer, Astana's Andreas Klöden on the baking roads of the Albigeois, with CSC's Carlos Sastre and Caisse d'Epargne's Alejandro Valverde trying not to lose too much time to the experts against the watch.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Stage 12 - Friday, July 20: Montpellier - Castres, 178.5km

Tom Boonen (Quick.Step)
Photo ©: Sirotti
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Friday will be another hot day that starts from Montpellier, capital of the Languedoc-Roussillon region, and another transitional stage as the Tour heads inland from the Mediterranean coast to the textile town of Castres. Although an early break should get away in the flat first half of the stage, a counter-attack on the tough 10.4-kilometres climb of Montée de la Jeante with 60 kilometres to go could be successful.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Stage 11 - Thursday, July 19: Marseille - Montpellier, 182.5km

Robert Hunter (Barloworld)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
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Stage 11 is a classic Tour transition stage that heads due west from Marseille along the Mediterranean coastline to Montpellier and the heat and wind will likely play a role. A break should go early but the sprinters' teams will smell blood in the final 50 kilometres for a bunch gallop in Montpellier.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Stage 10 - Wednesday, July 18: Tallard - Marseille, 229.5km

Cédric Vasseur (Quickstep)
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After the final Alpine effort, stage 10 heads south from Tallard, just south of Gap through the Alpes de Haute Provence to the port city of Marseille and opportunistic riders who are looking for a result will certainly be on the attack. The two Cat. 3 climbs, Bastides and Gineste in the final 30 kilometres will be decisive in determining who gets the winners big bowl of bouillabaisse for the stage that finishes in front of Marseille's Stade Vélodrome.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Stage 9 - Tuesday, July 17: Val-d’Isère - Briançon, 159.5km

Mauricio Soler (Barloworld) wins
Photo ©: AFP Photo
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Bang! Right from the start of stage nine, the Tour peloton will ascend from the exclusive ski resort of Val d'Isère. The riders will head up the windy, wide-open slopes of the Col de l'Iseran (15km @ 6%) to the 2770-metre high summit, one of the highest in Europe. Coming as it does on the day after the rest day in Tignes, the climb will be doubly-hard and once over the top, it's a long, fast downhill run down the Maurienne valley to St.Michel-de-Maurienne. There the long, legendary double ascent of the Télégraphe (12.0 km climb @ 6.7 % grade / 1st Cat) and Galibier (17.5 km @ 6.9 %) begins and it will certainly make a crucial selection, especially on the steep final 10 kilometres of the Galibier. Then it's a long, fast descent past the monument to Tour founder Henri Desgranges with 37 kilometres to go to the finish in Europe's highest city of Briançon and a steep, difficult stage finish in the Fort de Salettes.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Stage 8 - Sunday, July 15: Le-Grand-Bornand - Tignes, 165km

Michael Rasmussen won the stage
Photo ©: AFP Photo
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The second Alpine stage of the Tour de France is short, nervous and very difficult. Right from the start, stage eight commences with rollers that will be ideal for attackers, then it transitions to three first category ascents in the second half. After 75 kilometres, the long ascent of the Cormet de Roselend, then the Montée de Hauteville should give the favourites a chance to get into position for the 18-kilometre, 5.5% average gradient of the ascent to Tignes, where the real contenders for victory in this year's Tour will likely be revealed.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Stage 7 - Saturday, July 14: Bourg-en-Bresse - Le-Grand-Bornand, 197.5km

Linus Gerdemann (T-Mobile)
Photo ©: AFP Photo
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After a week of racing at Le Tour 2007, the first mountain stage in the Alps will certainly upset the status quo and it will likely show who the real contenders for overall victory are. Saturday is France's national holiday and huge crowds should be lining the road. Stage six starts out with an early climb up Côte de Corlier in the foothills of the Ain region, where key team riders will try to get out front early to help their team leaders on the decisive final 16-kilometre ascent of the Col de la Colombière before the descent to Le Grand-Bornand.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Stage 6 - Friday, July 13: Semur-en-Auxois - Bourg-en-Bresse, 199.5km

Tom Boonen (Quickstep)
Photo ©: AFP
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Starting in the tiny country village of Semur-en-Auxois, the first Friday stage of Le Tour 2007 heads south through the bucolic farms of Auxois into the famed wine region of Mâcon to finish on the flat roads of the Bresse region. Stage six will be the last chance for the sprinters for a while, and whichever fast-man wins in Bourg-en-Bresse will likely enjoy a tasty poulet de Bresse that the town is famous for.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Stage 5 - Thursday, July 12: Chablis - Autun, 182.5km

Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas)
Photo ©: AFP
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Starting in the town famous worldwide for crisp white wine, after five days of racing in the 2007 Tour de France, stage 5 contains some serious racing on a winding, rolling parcours with eight categorized climbs. A break will certainly get away and in the second half of the stage, the road ascends to the windy roads of Morvan Plateau before a final ascent of the Cat. 3 Côte de la Croix de la Libération with eight kilometres to race, which could make the difference for the race winning move.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Stage 4 - Wednesday, July 11: Villers-Cotterêts - Joigny, 193km

Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole)
Photo ©: AFP
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Stage four is a classic early Tour de France stage run in the countryside to the east of Paris that traverses the rolling hills of the Champagne region, the wide plains of Brie before the final hills across the Yonne. Once again, an early break will certainly escape before the sprinters' teams pull it back in the final 50 kilometres before the finish in Joigny.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Stage 3 - Tuesday, July 10: Waregem - Compiègne, 236.5km

Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC)
Photo ©: AFP Photo
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This is the longest stage of the Tour de France and after a taste of the Classics the day before, Stage three will pass through locales like Wallers, Denain and Solesmes that are familiar to Paris-Roubaix. The stage then passes through Fontaine-au-bois, the home town of former Tour boss Jean-Marie Leblanc. The rolling course with a following wind should provoke an early breakaway that will come back for another massive sprint.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Stage 2 - Monday, July 9: Dunkirk - Gent, 168.5km

Gert Steegmans (Quickstep)
Photo ©: AFP Photo
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Monday sees the second stage of Le Tour returning to Europe and it passes into Belgium across the mythical roads of Belgian Classics like the Tour of Flanders, Het Volk and Gent-Wevelgem. Echelons and crashes could play a part in this nervous stage and the strong wind off the North Sea will undoubtedly be present. 'Tommeke' Boonen will be looking for a big win in front of the home crowd in Gent.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Stage 1 - Sunday, July 8: London - Canterbury, 203km

Robbie McEwen (Predictor-Lotto)
Photo ©: AFP
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After a roll-out through London across the Greenwich Meridien where stage one officially starts, the peloton heads east along the Thames, then south across the North Downs and eventually back east across Kent to the finish within sight of the famous cathedral of Canterbury.

A rolling course that will favour an early break that will then be pulled back before the finale, where sprinters like Petacchi, McEwen, Freire, and Boonen will be looking for the first victory.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Prologue - Saturday, July 7: London - London, 7.9km

Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC)
Photo ©: AFP
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A flat, fast course through the heart of London town, beginning in Whitehall, past the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, past Queen Elizabeth in her majestic Buckingham Palace, then back to the finish through Hyde Park. The prologue continues past the Serpentine and its stately swans, back across Green Park and the slight rise of Constitution Hill to finish on the Mall in front of St. James Palace.

Le Tour's Prologue is be a battle royale between World TT Champ Cancellara (CSC), English Olympic pursuit champ Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis) and flying Scotsman David Millar (Saunier Duval) to wear the first Maillot Jaune of the 2007 Tour de France.

Stage details, Full results, report & photos, Live report, Video

Preview: Wide-open Tour prepares to depart London

Could 2007 be the year for Moreau?
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For the first year, the Tour de France Grand Départ will have no rider wearing the dossard 1 number of the previous year's champion, no clear favourite for the overall win, and a challenging parcours that will likely leave the general classification wide open until the penultimate stage. Cyclingnews' Laura Weislo tips the favourites and a few who could surprise in this year's Tour.

Coming into the second year of the post-Lance Armstrong era, no single rider has donned the iron gauntlet of domination that Armstrong employed. Floyd Landis' feel-good Hollywood comeback story turned horror-show doping case of last year is still unresolved on the eve of the Tour. Instead, over the last year, the sport has been cleaning house in the wake of Operación Puerto.

Gone from Le Tour is Ivan Basso who admitted his 'intent' to blood dope for last year's Tour. Likewise for Jan Ullrich, who remained quiet but was betrayed by his own DNA and retired. Also taking a back seat in this year's race will be CSC Manager Bjarne Riis, who admitted to using EPO to win the 1996 Tour and was guilted into stepping back. Out is green jersey hope Alessandro Petacchi, who used too much asthma medication in the Giro and is facing a possible one-year ban.

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