2007 Tour de France Profile

News & Results

10/27/2006| 0 comments
by Gerald Churchill

2007 Tour de France Profile

Some contend that the route of the 2007 Tour de France is easier than usual and certainly easier than the 2006 Tour route.

the Tour will enter the
Pyrenees. The peloton will leave Mazamet and go over the Cote de Sarrail and the Cote de Pailheres before slugging it out on the Tour?s second mountaintop finish at Plateau-de-Beille. Stage 15, a 196-km slog from Foix to Loudenvielle, will see the riders over the Col de Port, the Col de Portet d?Aspet, the Col de Mente, the Port de Bales, and the Col de Peyresourde. The riders will have earned the rest day that follows this stage.


After the rest day, the 2007 Tour?s final mountain stage will take place. The riders will go 218 km from Orthez to Gourette, and they will breast four stiff climbs?the Col de Larraut, the Col de Pierre Saint-Martin, the Col de Marie-Blanque, and the Col d?Aubisque. The stage will be a final chance for the climbing contenders to seize control of the race or to improve their overall positions.


After leaving the
Pyrenees, the field will contest two stages before the Tour?s final time trial. Stage 17, a flat, 188-km run from Pau to Castelsarrasin, will favor the sprinters, while Stage 18, a rolling, 210-km ride from Cahors to Angouleme, might be a stage in which an enterprising attacker or group of attackers will shine. Stage 19 will be the second of the Tour?s two long time trials. It will be 55-km long, and it will be a final chance to take the yellow jersey or move up in the overall. Stage 20, a 130-km run from Marcoussis to the
Champs Elysees , will be the traditional procession for the winner.


What do those who are close to the race think of the 2007 Tour?s parcours? Bernard Hinault, the last French winner of the race, says, ??this is a balanced Tour. I?ve heard some say that it?s not that hard, but it?s the riders that make the race. The problem is that the riders use less and less the natural resources of the terrain and focus on strategic sectors of the race, which is a mistake.?


Eddy Merckx, who shares with Hinault, Jacques Anquetil, and Miguel Indurain the distinction of being a five-time winner of the Tour, agrees with Hinault. ?It looks [like] a pretty normal Tour,? says The Cannibal, ?not easy but not with too much climbing?.Although there is no Alpe d?Huez and Ventoux, the race still has tough summit finishes at the Plateau de Beille and on the Aubisque.?


Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) disagrees. Says the Frenchman, ?The beginning of this Tour is less classic; there are a lot of stages where long breaks can succeed. And there are some tough mountain stages, with climbs that are not well known, which can create some surprises. As for the time trials, it will depend how fresh you are. The first one, just after the
Alps, will happen when your legs are tired.?


Chavanel?s countryman Christophe Moreau (Ag2r) gets the last word. He says, ??this Tour has a good balance that should provide a wide open race, which won?t be blocked

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