Friday, June 29, 2012

2012 Tour de France

The 99th edition of the Tour de France gets underway tomorrow with a 6.4km prologue in the "Grand Départ" city of Liège, Belgium.

Here at ICJ we'll focus on the Italian teams and riders during the race.

The route:

The defending champion: Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team)

Some important statistics:
22 teams (Liquigas-Cannondale, and Lampre-ISD are the Italian teams)
198 riders
31 nations represented at the start
23 riders who are eligible for the youth classification (white jersey)
Oldest rider: Jens Voigt (RNT) – 40 years, nine months and 13 days old at the start
Youngest rider: Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) – 22 years, one month and one day old at the start
1 prologue and 20 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,497 kilometers
9 flat stages
4 medium mountain stages - one with a summit finish
5 mountain stages - two with a summit finish
2 individual time-trial stages
1 prologue
2 rest days

The start list:
The The official start list of the 99th Tour de France was published earlier today, complete with the race numbers of all riders. Yesterday there was a remote chance that one rider may have been replaced between the team presentation and the start of the prologue as David Millar of the Garmin-Sharp team was suffering an illness. contacted the directeur sportif of the outfit, Allan Peiper, who confirmed that – although he had been vomiting and was unwell for a couple of days – Millar will in fact take the start. Start list here.

In what is believed will be a first for women’s cycling, a team of six amateur women will take on the ultimate road cycling challenge of a complete grand tour. Starting in Liège today, and always one day ahead of the pro peloton, the riders will complete the entire parcours of the 2012 Tour de France arriving in Paris on the 21st of July. In the process they’ll prove to themselves, other female cyclists, and women thinking about taking up the sport, that any bicycle dream is possible. Follow them at

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