Tour De France route announced

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Tour De France route announced

Post by Fernando on Thu 20 Oct 2011, 10:31 pm

Trying to get both Bradley Wiggins and the newly-signed Mark Cavendish atop their respective podiums in the same Tour de France will still be fiendishly difficult but the 2012 route certainly opens up that possibility.

Such a double has only been achieved once before - in 1997 when Jan Ulrich won the yellow jersey for Telekom and Erik Zabel took green.

Cavendish, who will ride the Tour in his world champion's rainbow jersey, proved last year that he is now the complete master of the sprint and can get around the toughest of mountain routes to arrive in Paris in the green jersey.

As long as Sky can offer him the daily support that HTC High Road afforded he will start as strong favourite to retain his jersey and add considerably to his 20 Tour stage wins in the last four years.

William Hill make Cavendish an incredible 4-7 on for the green jersey and Bradley Wiggins 10-1 for yellow.

With fewer high mountain finishes than normal and nearly 100km of individual time-trialling - nearly twice the distance of last year - it also looks extremely promising for Wiggins to mount a major assault in GC, certainly on the exceptional form he has displayed this season.

Nor would you discount Sky's second GC rider Chris Froome if he reproduced his stunning ride from this year's Vuelta Espana when he finished second.

There are always a number of subtle twists and unforeseen challenges when Directeur Sportifs hit the road and scout the precise route kilometre by kilometre but at first glance it looks such a heaven sent opportunity for Wiggins to create history that it will shape his entire season.

Wiggins Olympic programme will have to slot in with his Tour ambitions which point him firmly in the direction of riding for Cavendish in the road race a week after the Tour finishes and the going for an individual gold in the Individual time-trial a few days later.

In which case it is his participation in the Team Pursuit on the track which could be in doubt although no decisions have been made.

The 2012 Tour, the 99th edition, will start in Liege in Belgium and spend much of the first week in north east France where, although flattish, the racing will be manic and intense.

As Wiggins found to his cost this year, when he crashed on day seven and broke a collare bone, such racing in the first week can be just as demanding and fraught as the toughest climb.

After that it heads into the Alps with the Col de la Madeliene and Croix de Fer featuring in a brute of day on Stage Ten before nudging its way down to the coast and into the Pyrenees where stage 18 - involving a traverse of the cols Aubisque, Tourmalet, Aspin and Peyragudes - looks very much like the Queen stage.

After that the Tour starts heading North to Chartres where the 52km time-trial on the penultimate day will surely prove decisive.

2012 Tour de France stages:

Prologue Sat 30 June Liège - Liège (6.1 km)
1 Road stage Sun 1 July Liège - Seraing (198 km)
2 Road stage Mon 2 July Visé - Tournai (207 km)
3 Road stage Tues 3 July Orchies - Boulogne-sur-Mer (197 km)
4 Road stage Weds 4 July Abbeville - Rouen (214 km)
5 Road stage Thurs 5 July Rouen - Saint-Quentin (197 km)
6 Road stage Fri 6 July Épernay - Metz (210 km)
7 Road stage Sat 7 July Tomblaine - La Planche des Belles Filles (199 km)
8 Road stage Sun 8 July Belfort - Porrentruy (154 km)
9 Time trial Mon 9 July Arc-et-Senans - Besançon (38 km)
10 Road stage Weds 11 July Mâcon - Bellegarde-sur-Valserine (194 km)
11 Mountains Thurs 12 July Albertville - La Toussuire -Les Sybelles (140 km)
12 Mountains Fri 13 July Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - Annonay (220 km)
13 Road stage Sat 14 July Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux - Le Cap d’Agde (215 km)
14 Road stage Sun 15 July Limoux - Foix (192 km)
15 Road stage Mon 16 July Samatan - Pau (160 km)
16 Mountains Weds 18 July Pau - Bagnères-de-Luchon (197 km)
17 Mountains Thurs 19 July Bagnères-de-Luchon - Peyragudes (144 km)
18 Road stage Fri 20 July Blagnac - Brive-la-Gaillarde (215 km)
19 Time trial Sat 21 July Bonneval - Chartres (52 km)
20 Road stage Sun 22 July Rambouillet - Paris Champs-Élysées (130 km)

source:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/cycling/8834188/Tour-de-France-2012-route-revealed-sparking-hopes-of-a-Mark-Cavendish-and-Bradley-Wiggins-double.html

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Re: Tour De France route announced

Post by djlovesyou on Thu 20 Oct 2011, 10:37 pm

I'm with Urlaub on this one, although probably not quite as vehemently.

It's rubbish.

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Re: Tour De France route announced

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Fri 21 Oct 2011, 10:45 am

Well last year the route seemed made for a climber to win, and yet it was won by an all-round time-trialler. This year it seems made for the latter, so maybe Schleck will win Wink On a more serious note, it's not the two ITTs that bother me, as I thought last year's tour was badly skewed towards the mountaineers (which makes the result even more ironic), but the lack of mountain-top finishes is disappointing.

It does seem a route which will favour the likes of Evans and Wiggins, and let's not forget Contador (if he's still racing then) who's a pretty decent TTer too, while being a better climber than those two. Schleck will have to be really aggressive in the mountains to pull this one off.

As for Cavendish, both him and Feillu have said there should be seven sprint finishes, so he'll be looking forward to getting a few more stage wins under his belt. He is now saying he wants to complete the TdF and then ride the Olympics, not sure how wise this is, but we'll see. I think Sky have the resources to try for both Green and Yellow. You have guys who can do the flat stretches and also act as domestiques on the early slopes, and you can spare Eisel for Cav surely?

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Re: Tour De France route announced

Post by dummy_half on Fri 21 Oct 2011, 2:19 pm

MfC
Despite what Cav is saying, I would be entirely unsurprised to see him leaving the Tour before the last few mountain stages - the Olympic RR is only a week after the stage in Paris, so it would be cutting the preparation very fine to finish the TdF and still be competetive in London (noting that although Cav won the pre-Olympic test event, that was much shorter and with significantly less climbing than the Olympic race will be - Cav will need to be in good shape to not be dropped before the peloton heds back towards London).

The route looks fairly typical of the routes used during the Armstrong era, so probably does favour the ITT specialists - the Schlecks will need 5 or 6 minutes in the mountains to offset their losses, and I'm not convinced the mountain stages offer sufficient scope for them to gain that over the likes of Evans Contador* and possibly Wiggins - only 3 summit finishes, with one only in the Vosges (short and steep, climbing to 1100m).

*Obviously, Contador's participation or otherwise depends on the outcome of his CAS hearing, which is far from a foregone conclusion.

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Re: Tour De France route announced

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Fri 21 Oct 2011, 3:26 pm

wouldn't be surprised either dummy_half, but interesting to see his attitude has changed from "basically giving the tour a miss next year to focus on OG" to "I'll try to ride both" after the route was revealed. Cav obviously feels the route offers him a great chance at a second successive green jersey, so he may give it a shot depending on how he feels going into the latter mountain stages.

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Re: Tour De France route announced

Post by Azabache on Fri 21 Oct 2011, 4:37 pm

Cav can't really say anything else as the Tour would really take a dim view of someone announcing that they're going to exit after a week or so.

Bad memories of Cipollini etc.

I personally would put Tour glory over the Olympics, which has got to be the more tainted of the two!

Though it's a close run thing.

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Re: Tour De France route announced

Post by djlovesyou on Fri 21 Oct 2011, 8:12 pm

In what sense is the Olympics more tainted than the Tour?

How many times in the last 25 years have we seen a clean winner? Not that many times I would imagine.

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Re: Tour De France route announced

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Fri 21 Oct 2011, 8:57 pm

I think though that Cav has already won so many TdF stages, so surely for him fair enough to be targeting that Olympic gold? In the cycling worls it doesn't mean so much, but in the UK, with home Olympics too, it would mean a huge amount, so I think Cav is right in this instance.

Re the whole "I'll ride to the end" thing, I seem to remember that in 08 it was made pretty clear that Cav would be pulling out before the end, and not much was said then. Also in this year's Giro all the sprinters pretty much pulled out after the last flat stage (Pettachi and Cav did, and I'm pretty sure a few others did too), and no one said anything much. Admittedly this may have been because of the ridiculous route which would have meant them basically busting a gut for a good week and a half over mountains with no chance of a stage win or even getting the sprinters jersey at the end...

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Re: Tour De France route announced

Post by djlovesyou on Fri 21 Oct 2011, 9:15 pm

Yep. They have mountains in the Giro. Something that's not really bothered with that often in the tour.

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Re: Tour De France route announced

Post by Azabache on Mon 24 Oct 2011, 2:15 pm

DJ: I was being slightly provocative but, thinking back, at least the Tour has not embraced "Shamateurism", and it has been reasonably free from Nationalism (apart from a brief spell when they had national teams).

I'm with you re mountains. As we've discussed before on the defunct site: use the 1987 Tour as a minimum template! It'll never happen of course.

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Re: Tour De France route announced

Post by djlovesyou on Wed 26 Oct 2011, 4:26 pm

Ah right of course. I thought you were talking about doping.

I'd forgotten you've in the past actively supported it.

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Re: Tour De France route announced

Post by Azabache on Thu 27 Oct 2011, 3:16 pm

HAND...SWE

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Re: Tour De France route announced

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