Tour de France Route: Announcement and Reactions
English philosopher Thomas Hobbes described human life in a state of nature as ?nasty, cruel, brutish, and short.? At 3,584 km, the 2005 Tour de France will be all of these except short. The race will feature three mountaintop finishes, 74 km of individual time trials, a 66-km team time trial, and 20 Category 2, Category 1, and Hors Categorie climbs. La Grande Boucle will not end soon enough for those who start it.
The 2005 Tour de France will not begin with a prologue. Instead, the riders will tackle a 19-km individual time trial from Fromentine to Noirmoutier en l?Ile. Stages 2 and 3 should end in sprints, with the second stage running from Challans to Les Essarts and the third going from La Chataigneraie to
Stages 5 to 8 will be stages for flatlanders. Stage 5 will go from
In Stage 9, the Tour will enter the
After the rest day, the riders will take on the
Stages 12 and 13 will be transitional stages. The former will be hilly and will run 187 km from Briancon to Digne-les-Bains. The latter will be a 162-km run from Miramas to
Stage 14 will run 220 km from Agde to Ax-3 Domaines. The stage will feature two climbs, the Port de Pailheres and the finishing ascent. Stage 15 will be the hardest stage of the 2005 Tour. It will feature six categorized ascents, including a finishing climb. In Stage 16, the final Pyrenean stage, the riders will breast four categorized climbs within 70 km in midstage.
Stages 17 to 19 will be for the flatlanders. Stage 17 will be a 239-km run from
Stage 20 will be a 55-km time trial at St. Etienne. It will be the final chance to take the yellow jersey or to claim a higher spot in the general classification. Stage 21, the final stage, will be a 169-km run from Corbeil-Essonnes to the
Click here to view our interactive 2005 Tour de France map.
What do riders and team managers think of the route? CSC directeur sportif Kim Andersen likes it. ?It?s a really good route for us,? he said in an interview with Roadcycling.com. ?The fact that it starts with a 19-km time trial is a clear advantage for us because we?ll definitely try for the yellow jersey again. At this point, I predict Jens Voigt as the guy who is able to go for the jersey in the first week, where the team time trial is a big goal for us also. We?ll have the same ambitions as this year as far as results go. We?ll be going for both stage wins and as well as the overall victory. [Ivan] Basso and [Carlos] Sastre both have good chances of finishing among the best, and they?ve both been doing the Tour for several years. Basso gained a lot of experience last year, and I?m sure, he?s very keen to go even further up the podium.?
Hans Holczer, Gerolsteiner?s team manager, likes the route as well. ?It?s fantastic,? Holczer told Roadcycling.com. ?Friday, the arrival in Karlsruhe and Saturday, the start at
CSC?s dynamic duo, Ivan Basso and Carlos Sastre, speak highly of the route. Basso says, ?It suits me fine that there are fewer time trial miles on the route because even though I?ve improved in that discipline, it?s still the one area where I might lose some time.? Sastre agrees. ?There?s only one long time trial, which means the race will be decided in the mountains. It will probably be quite dramatic. I think the
For news on the run-up to the Tour de France, check out www.roadcycling.com!