Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2011 Tour de France Presentation

Indeed, there will be two stages that has Italy playing a part in the 2011 Tour de France.

Stage 17, 179 km, (Wednesday July 20, 2011) from Gap to Pinerolo in Italy will have three categorized climbs: Col de Montgenèvre, Sestrières and the Côte de Pramartino.

The following day on Stage 18, 189 km, (Thursday, July 21, 2011) riders return to France on what will be the "Queen" stage which includes the Col d’Agnel (2774m) and the Izoard (2360m) before arriving at the Col du Galibier (2645M) for a summit finish.

Director of the Tour de France Christian Prudhomme's comments:
"The route of the 2011 Tour has been determined with two objectives in mind: to set the pace from the beginning of the race and maintain suspense right up until the very end.

Last summer’s first week was thrilling, and this year it will offer the riders a difficult route, that will be spectacular and capable of providing various scenarios…

From Vendée to Indre, we wanted to provide the riders with a variety of challenges, including final slopes which sometimes have very marked relief to finish the stages, a team time-trial for the specialists in this kind of exercise, a final stretch facing the sea, exposed to the wind, in the magnificent setting of Cap Fréhel, and of course “classic” flat finishes for pure sprinters. The route has been designed so that all kinds of riders will be able to make their presence felt during these first days where the favourites should already be apparent, especially in the Mûr-de-Bretagne, in an atmosphere and with an enthusiasm that we can already imagine.

In the Massif Central, the race route will gain height, before moving on, very soon after, to the Pyrenees. During this second week, the peloton will discover the Tour’s new mountain passes, the promising Perthus, in the heart of Cantal, and the outstanding Hourquette d’Ancizan, on the Luz-Ardiden road: the slightest weakness will be fatal, such as on the slopes of the Aubisque or on the Plateau de Beille.

The third week will be crucial: it will honour the giant, the Galibier, which was climbed for the first time one hundred years earlier, in the appropriate way. Its summit will initially be reached after a long Franco-Italian expedition, (which also includes the ascent of the Agnel and the Izoard), making it the highest finish in the Tour’s history, at an altitude of 2, 645 m. Then it will be crossed for the second time during a very short and exciting stage, punctuated by the twenty one mythical bends of l’Alpe d’Huez, which has never been climbed so late on in the race, two days before the finish in Paris. Nevertheless, the odds for the Yellow Jersey may still be open the next day in Grenoble, in a final time-trial which will hopefully be decisive, as in recent years."

2011 Tour facts:

The route

Running from Saturday July 2nd to Sunday July 24th 2010, the 98th Tour de France will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,471 kilometers.

These stages have the following profiles:

* 10 flat stages,
* 6 mountain stages and 4 summit finishes,
* 1 individual time-trial stage (41 km).
* 1 team time-trial stage (23 km).

Distinctive aspects of the race

* le Galibier climbed twice**,
* 2 rest days,
* 23 level 2, 1 or highest level mountain passes or summit finishes,
* no time bonuses will be awarded during the intermediate sprints and stage finishes; there are changes in how points will be awarded to the green and polka dot jerseys.

**100 candles for the Galibier; the Tour de France’s cyclists first climbed the Col du Galibier in 1911. To mark this hundredth anniversary in the appropriate way, in 2011, the Galibier will be climbed twice after an interval of 24 hours. The finish of the 18th stage will be judged at the summit, which will be the highest finish in the Tour’s history, at an altitude of 2, 645 metres. The Galibier will be re-visited again on the following day on Stage 19 via its northern side as the 109km-long 19th stage finishes with the climb to L’Alpe d’Huez.

15 new stage towns

Blaye-les-Mines, Cap Fréhel, Carhaix, Carmaux, Cugnaux, Galibier Serre-Chevalier, Limoux, Modane, Mont des Alouettes Les Herbiers, Mûr-de-Bretagne, Olonne-sur-Mer, Passage du Gois La Barre-de-Monts, Pinerolo (Italie), Redon, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux

Prize Money

In total, 3.2 million euros will be awarded to the teams and the riders, including 450, 000 euros for the winner of the general individual classification.

The 2011 Tour de France stages:

July 2, stage 1: Passage du Gois-Mont des Alouettes, 191km
July 3, stage 2: Les Essarts-Les Essarts, TTT, 23km
July 4, stage 3: Olonne-sur-Mer-Redon, 198km
July 5, stage 4: Lorient-Mûr-de-Bretagne, 172km
July 6, stage 5: Carhaix-Cap Fréhel, 158km
July 7, stage 6: Dinan-Lisieux, 226km
July 8, stage 7: Le Mans-Châteauroux, 215km
July 9, stage 8: Aigurande-Super Besse Sancy, 190km
July 10, stage 9: Issoire-St-Flour, 208km
July 11, rest day at Le Lioran/Cantal
July 12, stage 10: Aurillac-Carmaux, 161km
July 13, stage 11: Blaye-les-Mines-Lavaur, 168km
July 14, stage 12: Cugnaux-Luz Ardiden, 209km
July 15, stage 13: Pau-Lourdes, 156km
July 16, stage 14: Saint-Gaudens-Plateau de Beille, 168km
July 17, stage 15: Limous-Montpellier, 187km
July 18, rest day at province of Drôme
July 19, stage 16: Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux-Gap, 163km
July 20, stage 17: Gap-Pinerolo, 179km
July 21, stage 18: Pinerolo-Galibier/Serre-Chevalier, 189km
July 22, stage 19: Modane-Alpe d’Huez, 109km
July 23, stage 20: Grenoble-Grenoble, ITT, 41km
July 24, stage 21: Créteil-Paris/Champs-Elysées, 160km

There was no announcement as to which teams would be competing; announcement to be made in approximately one month. Lance Armstrong and Albero Contador did not attend the presentation.

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