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David Fletcher's Grand Tours

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David_Fletcher
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David Fletcher's Grand Tours

Post by David_Fletcher »

Hi everyone, just thought I'd share my Grand Tours with you guys.

I'll start off with the Giro, then the Tour and finally the Vuelta!
Last edited by David_Fletcher on 27/06/2017, 10:39, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: David Fletcher's Grand Tours

Post by David_Fletcher »

GIRO D'ITALIA
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See in more detail: maps/tours/view/5805

Here I present you my first Grand Tour, the Giro d'Italia. This edition contains 3,307km with five mountain top finishes including Monte Zoncolan, Passo dello Stelvio, Passo del Mortirolo, Sestriere and a brand new adddition, Monte Altissimo di Nago in Trentino. The Corsa Rosa is also easy on the eye for the sprinters, who have eight opportunities to play their cards in famous cities like Messina, Bari, Sanremo, Milano and the undisputed home of Italian sprinting, Veneto. As for the opportunists, they can have their fun on at least five medium mountain stages. Last but not least, there will be, of course, 25km of individual time trialling and 15km of team time trialling around the streets of Torino and Catania respectively.
Last edited by David_Fletcher on 30/06/2017, 22:31, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: David Fletcher's Grand Tours

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Stage 1 - CATANIA - CATANIA (15km) - TTT

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Although the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia did cross the region, it didn't actually enter the city of Catania. This time round, the Gran Partenza will be hosted in the Piazza Stesicoro, next to the ancient Roman Anfithietre and in front of the Chiesa di San Baggio. The teams will head east towards the coast as far as the Via Francesco Crispi where they will head to the north side of the city via the Piazza Europa. Once they reach the furthest point north, they will head back down and west to the only checkpoint, Calcio Catania's stadium, the Stadio Angelo Massimino, which will mark more or less, the halfway mark. Soon after they will head back to the Old Town to finish next to the Teatro Romano and the Chiesa di San Francesco.


See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/125980

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Re: David Fletcher's Grand Tours

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Stage 2 - CATANIA - MESSINA (127km) - Flat

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This 127km stage sees the race go north, from Catania to Messina. The riders will be able to bask in the Sun with over 100km of racing on the sea front before entering a 9km circuit around the streets of Messina. Although the 127km won't offer up any difficulties and is the shortest stage of the Giro, it will certainly give the riders the opportunity to get some rythm into their legs. The forementioned city circuit sees the riders go up to Rione Case Basse and back again to the Quartieri Nuovi della Mossella. They must complete the lap a total of three times before the sprinters come to the front to play out the stage victory in the Piazza Unione Europea, and maybe nab the Maglia Rosa with some bonus seconds on offer.



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Re: David Fletcher's Grand Tours

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Stage 3 - MESSINA - PALERMO (267km) - Rolling

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The 3rd stage sees the riders complete the Gran Partenza visiting the last of the three big cities of Sicily, Palermo. Curiously, straight after the shortest stage of the race, comes the longest.The 267km route will start from the port of Messina, Zona Falcata and will cross the Nebrodi mountain range via the first of the 46 climbs of this edition of the Giro, the Badiazza (3rd category). Hence, every jersey will have an owner. They will then complete around 150km on the northern coastline of Sicily crossing Locanda (4th category). The last 20km, the riders head inland to face the last two climbs, Colle di Casteldaccia (4th category) and the Belmonte Mezzagno (3rd category), before a downhill ride to the finish in the Piazza Ruggero Settimo.


See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/126110

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Last edited by David_Fletcher on 01/07/2017, 16:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: David Fletcher's Grand Tours

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Stage 4 - POLICASTRO BUSSENTINO - MARINA DI ASCEA (159km) - Medium Mountain

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Stage 4 indicates the first on the Italian Peninsula after three days on the island of Sicily. The riders will set sail from the marine resort of Policastro Bussentino, which was the start in Stage 4 of the Giro 2013, won by Enrico Battaglin; and will arrive in Marina di Ascea, host to Luca Paolini's win, also in 2013 (Stage 3). Although these two coastal towns are only 40km apart, the race will go inland to Castelle In Pittari (3rd Category) and then head to the Colle di San Rufo (3rd category), before heading back out to sea via the 2nd Category climb, Colle di Castel San Lorenzo. The final difficulty of the day comes around 10km from home, Castelnuovo Cilento (4th Category) with ramps of 9%. A total of nearly 3,000m of vertical climbing, a breakaway's paradise!


See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/126453


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Re: David Fletcher's Grand Tours

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Stage 5 - NAPOLI - LAGO LACENO (150km) - Medium Mountain

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We once again start from the coast, this time, it's the famous city of Napoli that plays host to the Partenza of Stage 5 to Lago Laceno. The Italian city famously known for its active vulcano, Mt. Vesuvius, was last used in the Giro in 2013, where Mark Cavendish picked up his first of three victories that year. As for the finish, Lago Laceno, the Giro came through on Stage 9 to San Giorgio del Sannio, that day victory went to Paolo Tiralongo. The race will start in the Piazza del Plebiscito and will pass many tourist attractions on its way to Pompeii, the first intermediate sprint. It will then head to Salerno, after that, there will barely be a metre of flat between there and the finish. The two 3rd category climbs of Colle di Solofra and Chiusano di San Domenico will offer a little warm-up for the riders before the sting in the tail, the Colle Mollela (2nd Category), widely known for playing host to Domenico Pozzovivo's attack on Stage 8 of the 2012 Giro that saw him ease away to victory. This demanding 9km climb will take the riders upwards to Lago Laceno where they will face 4km of flat before reaching the finish.


See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/126473


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Re: David Fletcher's Grand Tours

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Stage 6 - LAGO LACENO - BARI (230km) - Flat

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As the Giro heads to the east coast, departing from the exact same road in which the previous stage finished in Lago Laceno, it will cross the Apeninno Meridionale. They will head south and then once again make their way to the Adriatico. Although there are no classified climbs, the terrain isn't flat and in total has nearly 1,500m of vertical climbing. However, the stage will most likely be resolved with a mass sprint finish in Bari, where Nacer Bouhanni won his first ever Grand Tour stage.


See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/126561


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Re: David Fletcher's Grand Tours

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Stage 7 - SAN SEVERO - PESCARA (178km) - Flat

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On the seventh day,the 178km route takes the riders north along the Adriatico coast. Just like the Stage 7 in 2013, where Adam Hansen broke his Grand Tour duck with victory in the rain, the day finishes in Pescara. The stage is mainly flat, the only categorised climb coming more than 130km from home, the Serracapriola (3rd Category). Hence a sprint would be the most sensible prediction, especially bearing in mind that this is the last opportunity for the sprinters to knick a win before the rest day.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/126690


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Re: David Fletcher's Grand Tours

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Stage 8 - PESARO - FIRENZE (228km) - Mountain

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Stage 8 sees the first Mountain stage of this edition with four 2nd Category climbs, and one 3rd Category, 18km from the finish. There are numerous similarities with Stage 11 of the Giro 2017, won by Omar Fraile, including two of the climbs, Monte Fumaiolo (2nd Category) and the Passo della Consuma (2nd Category) and the start, Firenze (the finish in this one).
Although the climbs won't play a major part in the outcome of the stage, they will soften up the riders' legs going into the finish. First is the Passo Cantoniera (2nd Category) 15.5km at 4.5%, pretty tough considering there is a 3km downhill in the middle. Next up is the Monte Fumaiolo, although the riders won't ride right up to the top, they will reach Balze, only about 2km from the top. They will then head downhill crossing into Toscana from Emilia-Romagna to the feedzone in Valsavignone. Not long after they will commence the ascension to the Passo dello Spino, most known for hosting the famous Cronoscalatta "Lo Spino". Then it's onto the Passo della Consuma and the Colle di Castelglionchio (3rd Category).
The razor tooth profile will almost certainly offer the breakaway a golden chance to go all the way. One thing is for sure, whoever the winner may be, he will certainly want to go solo in order to embrace the Firenze crowds on his own and arrive in the Piazza San Giovanni without contesting a sprint.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/126702


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Re: David Fletcher's Grand Tours

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Stage 9 - PISA - SESTRI LEVANTE (MONTE DOMENICO) (156km) - Medium Mountain
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If there ever was a beautiful day out at the Giro, this is it. With the start in the Piazza dei Miracoli, in Pisa, the riders depart northward, passing the fabulous marine resort of Viareggio (First Intermediate Sprint), La Spezia and the spectacular and picturesque coastal town of Manarola before heading for the finish in Sestri Levante. Though there won't be time for sightseeing as far as the riders are concerned. At least for the first 75km along the Tirreno coastline, the riders will be able to ride along pan flat terrain. Then things start to get hard as they enter La Spezia, the foot of the Biassa (2nd Category) climb, decisive in Davide Formolo's win on Stage 4 of the Giro 2015. After that they will descend into the gorgeous town of Manarola before climbing up to the Passo del Termine (2nd Category), also featured in Stage 4 of the Giro 2015. Then they will face 10km of rolling terrain on the plateau of the climb and descend into the foot of the Válico Guaitarola (2nd Category). Once again the riders will race along a 10km plateau before descending into Sestri Levante where they will dash up the final climb of the day. Although Monte Domenico is only a 3rd Category climb, it's no piece of cake and has various difficult sections and will of course offer up an interesting end to the first week of racing.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/126981

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Re: David Fletcher's Grand Tours

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Great giro and great presentation. Alpine stages look good looking at your map
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Re: David Fletcher's Grand Tours

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Stage 10 - SESTRI LEVANTE - ALBENGA (144km) - Flat

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After a well earnt rest, the riders are back in action with a short and relatively easy route along the stunning Ligurian coastline. The race will cross beautiful cities like Genova, Loano and Savona on its way to Albenga. Though the route presents three 3rd Category climbs, the sprinters shouldn't turn their noses up at this marvellous opportunity for a stage win given that the three passes come in the first 30km of the day. The run-in isn't very technical and the fast men should be the ones to contest the stage victory in the outskirts of the old town of Albenga.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/127209


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Stage 11 - ALBENGA - SANREMO (130km) - Flat

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If you're a true cycling fan, I'm pretty sure you will recognize the circuit for the 11th stage of this Giro. The riders will begin where they left off, in Albenga, and continue their journey west to Sanremo. Before reaching the town, famous for the Classicissima Milano Sanremo, they will turn right and begin the circuit that includes the Poggio climb and the finish on the famous Via Roma. Even though they will have to complete the circuit six times, this will still be one of the shortest stages of the Giro, 130km.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/127553



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Stage 12 - TORINO - TORINO (25km) - ITT

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Stage 12 sees the riders complete the last Time Trial of the Giro. Although it's only 25km, it's technical, so the riders must play it safe in the streets of Torino in order to not lose time just before the Dolomites. The course goes clockwise around the Piemonte capital reaching out as far as the Parco Fontanello (first intermediate time check) and the Juventus Stadium as it heads back to the city centre via the Piazza Sofia (second intermediate time check). The riders will finally pass the Piazza della Repubblica before the final straight to the finish line in the Piazza Palazzo di Città. The time trial will be a good appetizer for the mountain stages to come.


See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/127585



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Stage 13 - TORINO - SESTRIERE (168km) - High Mountain
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Et voilà! Finally the first mountain top finish of the Giro. Though the finish at the ski resort of Sestriere (3rd Category) is no easy climb, it won't be the climb that the riders will have their eye on on Stage 13, that will be the famous Colle delle Finestre. The first 1st Category climb of this edition of the Giro will be welcomed by the climbers who will be looking to make some importanttime gaps on their rivals on the gravel roads.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/127595



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Stage 14 - IVREA - VERBANIA (175km) - Flat

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After a challenging day in the Alpi Cozie, the riders can recompose themselves in this transition stage from Ivrea to Verbania. This stage sees the riders get their first taste of the Lombardy region. However the finish does loop back once more into Piemonte for the finish on the western side of Laggo Maggiore in Verbania. Both Ivrea and Verbania have played host to finishes in the last four years at the Giro, with victories going to Beñat Intxausti and Philippe Gilbert respectively. Though this time it will be most likely a sprinter who celebrates victory.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/127631


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Stage 15 - BRESCIA - MONTE ALTISSIMO DI NAGO (172km) - High Mountain

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Stage 15 sees us complete the second week of racing and go back into the mountains with a brand new mountain top finish, the Monte Altissimo di Nago. Although the climb resembles the Cronoscalata in the Giro 2013 from Mori to Polsi won by Vincenzo Nibali, the finish is slightly different and follows the main road up from Mori and ends up in San Giacomo as a pose to Polsa. On their way from Brescia to the Garda mountain range, the riders will pass by three lakes, Lago d'Isidro, Lago di Garda and Lago di Loppio. Though the race doesn't reach the top of Monte Altissimo di Nago, it certainly will take some strong legs to conquer the 14km climb at more than 7% that even includes a little downhill 6km from home. The great cliché comes into play here: You can't win it here, but you can certainly lose it.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/127642



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Stage 16 - VICENZA - LEVICO TERME (178km) - Medium Mountain

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And we're back in action with another chance for the opportunists to snatch a stage victory with the main GC contenders' mind elsewhere, thinking about the mountain stages ahead. The 16th stage includes three classified climbs, Tresché Conca (2nd Category), Cima Campo (1st Category) and Alto Canai (3rd Category); that will offer many chances for the puncheurs to land some punches to their breakaway companions and maybe raise their arms in Levico Terme.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/128189



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Stage 17 - BELLUNO - MONTE ZONCOLAN (194km) - High Mountain

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Welcome to hell! It's here! It's the day the GC men have all been waiting for, the queen stage of the Giro! Nearly 5,500m of vertical incline over 200km. The route from Belluno to Monte Zoncolan sees the riders climb the modest Forcella Franché (3rd Category) before tackling the Passo Giau (1st Category) and descending into the heart of the Dolomites, Cortina d'Ampezzo for the first intermediate sprint. Then it's the long drag to the foot of the penultimate difficulty of the day, the Sella di Razzo (2nd Category), also known as the Sella Ciampigotto. Last but not least it's the fearsome summit of Monte Zoncolan (1st Category), 1,200m ascent in only 9km! Surely this will separate the men from the boys!

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/128493



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Stage 18 - UDINE - VENETO (133km) - Flat

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After two demanding days in and around the Dolomites, the riders will be able to enjoy a pan flat ride making a 133km loop around Veneto starting in Udine. Given the fact that this will be the last opportunity for the fast men before Milano and the location of the stage, many Italian sprinters will be keen to snatch victory in their home region.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/128522



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Stage 19 - MOLVENO - PASSO DEL MORTIROLO (137km) - High Mountain

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And we're back in the Dolomites with the final two summit finishes of the Giro. Stage 19 starts in Molveno and crosses the lake to Ragoli, going along the same roads as Stage 15, but in the opposite direction. They will then reach Pinzolo and begin the first ascent of the day, Madonna di Campiglio (1st Category), followed nearly inmediately by the Passo del Tonale (2nd Category) and finally the Passo del Mortirolo (1st Category). Altghouth the stage is only 137km long, it definitely packs a punch and should set up a grand stand finish tomorrow on the Stelvio.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/128553



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Stage 20 - BOLZANO - PASSO DELLO STELVIO (204km) - High Mountain

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Saving the best until last, the mythical Passo dello Stelvio will bring a curtain down on this edition of the Giro d'Italia. The 204km stage will start in Bolzano and work its way round the Alpi Sarentine via the Passo Giovo (1st Category). Then it's nearly 70km of false flat to the foot of the legendary Stelvio pass, the final summit of the Giro and serves as the Cima Coppi. A marvellous ending to a demanding three weeks.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/128796



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Stage 21 - PIACENZA - MILANO (138km) - Flat

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To finish off three weeks of hurt, the riders will complete a processional ride from Piacenza into Milano. Though 85 of the 138km will be most likely ridden at an easy pace to celebrate the maglia rosa winner, once the race reaches Milano, things will start to hot up. The 6.5km circuit, same as the one used in 2015, will be completed 8 times before the sprinters can battle it out one last time. That is of course, if the teams are able to maintain the breakaway at arms length, unlike in 2015, when Iljo Keisse surprised everybody with a win from the break.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/128845



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Re: David Fletcher's Grand Tours

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TOUR DE FRANCE
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With the Tour de France 2017 in full throttle, here I present you my very own route of the Grande Boucle. This edition makes nearly a complete loop of the famous Hexagone, passing through 11 of the 12 regions of mainland France. The riders will start off three weeks of racing and over 3,350km in the Roubaix Vélodrome, home of the Hell of the North, with a 20km ITT that will be the only bit of racing against the clock. In the next 20 stages, they will have to deal with 7 mountain stages including summit finishes to Mont Ventoux, Col du Galibier, Alpe d'Huez, the Hautacam and more... As for the opportunists and puncheurs, they will be able to have some fun on more or less 4 stages. The sprinters will most definitely not be left out either with 9 opportunities to seize a stage victory including the un-official World Championships of Sprinting on the pictoresque Champs-Élyseès.




Stage 1 - ROUBAIX - LILLE (20km) - ITT


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With three weeks of tough racing ahead, the riders will first have to tackle the only Time Trial of the race. The 20km route will take the riders from the finish line of the Paris-Roubaix, in the famous Velodrome over to the biggest city of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region. Although it's a short TT, the GC favourites will want to give it a shot and stamp their authority on the rest of their rivals.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/131185



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Stage 2 - ARRAS - ROUEN (176km) - Flat


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On the second day, the real racing gets underway with 176 flat kilometres from Arras to Rouen. With one point on offer for the KOM classfication, every jersey will have an owner at the end of the day. But the main focus will be on the mad dash into the city of Rouen, with the last 700m being straight down the Quai du Havre alongside the River Seine, it's the perfect opportunity for the sprinters to test their legs.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/131190



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Stage 3 - CAEN - SAINT-LÔ (197km) - Rolling


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Every second road stage at the Tour de France since 2011 has favoured the puncheurs, and this one, will be no different. Although Caen is only 70km away from Saint-Lô, Stage 3 is nearly 200km long. The route will take the riders along rolling terrain across 8 categozised climbs including the finish up the Côte de Saint-Lô, 1km at 5.3% (see below), though not majorly demanding, it might well see a change in the maillot jaune.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/131320



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Stage 4 - MONT-SAINT-MICHEL - NANTES (194km) - Flat


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After a day in the rolling terrain of Normandie, the riders head south into the Pays de la Loire for two pan flat days with no categorized climbs in sight, a sprinter's paradise for sure. The 3rd longest stage of the Tour starts from the 2016 Grand Départ, Mont-Saint-Michel, all the way down to one of France's biggest cities, Nantes. With the last kilometre being completely straight, the sprinters must trust their lead-out men to deliver them in the right place at the right time to power to victory in Nantes.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/131397



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Stage 5 - TOURS - BOURGES (170km) - Flat



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With just one more flat stage before the rest day, the sprinters will be eager to get off the mark in Bourges. Though it is one for the fast men, they must think on their feet in the last 2km with a technical finish including four roundabouts and a last kilometre that averages 2% in the city centre. It will be crucial to launch the sprint late in order to not come up short on the false flat.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/131574



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Stage 6 - CHÂTEROUX - PUY BAYAU (186km) - Medium Mountain


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As we get closer to the Massif Central, the profile gets tougher. Stage 6 is no alpine challenge but it's certainly not a walk in the park. The 2,650m of vertical incline will allow the climbers to test their legs ahead of the next day's mountain stage. It's more or less false flat from the gun and although there are only four categorized climbs, three of which 4th Category, there will be a reduced group at the foot of the last climb of the day. The final climb, the Puy Bayau (See below), also known as the Col de Lestards, a steady climb with prolonged sections of up to 9.6%, will offer up a stern test for those looking to make amends of the uneven terrain and snatch an unexpected stage victory.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/131660


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Stage 7 - CLERMONT-FERRAND - PAS DE PEYROL (169km) - Mountain

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It's the moment the GC contenders have been waiting for, the first mountain stage of the Tour. The 7th stage sees the riders complete a 169km route from Clermont-Ferrand to Pas de Peyrol, also known as the Puy Mary. On their way, the riders must crest a total of five climbs, three of which 2nd Category or harder. Though the first climb isn't dealt with until km50, there isn't much rest bite, it's either uphill or downhill all the way to the finish on the Pas de Peyrol (See below), a daunting 8km climb that averages out at over 7% and with the last 2km being at over 12%, it will be an explosive rider who raises his arms at the end of the day.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/131927


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Stage 8 - PÉRIGUEUX - BORDEAUX (163KM) - Flat

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As flat as a pancake is the only way to describe this one. The flattest day of the Tour goes from Périgueux to Bordeaux, in its entirety passing along three rivers, the river Isle, the Dordogne and finally the Garonne via the Gironde estuaire. Though there will be little time to contemplate the scenery of the Limousin region, as the undemanding terrain will surely favour a very high speed and an even faster sprint finish with maybe a hint of some crosswinds.

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Stage 9 - SAINT-SEVER - HAUTACAM (206km) - High Mountain

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With the end of the first week comes the longest stage, and probably, one of the hardest. Though two thirds of the day are mainly flat, the two Hors Catégorie climbs will be the determing factor of the day. From the intermediate sprint in Pau, it's nearly an identical route to Stage 18 Tour de France 2014, won by Vincenzo Nibali, with a slight difference when cresting the Côte de Loucroup (4th Category). The Col du Tourmalet (HC Category) will for ceratin soften up the legs and burn most of the main GC favourites' team mates before a head-to-head battle on the Hautacam.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/132000


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Stage 10 - TARBES - TOULOUSE (156km) - Flat

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With the rest day behind them, the riders will be eager to get themselves back in action and will hope for a simple ride to get the rythm flowing again. Though the stage is categorized as flat, the 1,200m of vertical incline say anything but. However, once crested the Côte de Mérenvielle (4th Category), it's a 35km pan flat run-in to the finish, so be sure to see a fast finish on the Pont-Neuf.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/132027


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Stage 11 - TOULOUSE - PLATEAU DE BEILLE (185km) - High Mountain

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The eleventh stage sees the riders go back into the Pyrenees for the last day in France's second biggest mountain range. The riders will pick up where they left off in Toulouse, and cover 100km of relative flat terrain, passing through the intermediate sprint in Pamiers and the feed zone in Foix, before tackling the first challenge of the day, the Col de Péguère (1st Category). Though it's not as demanding as the Mur de Péguère, used in 2012 and 2017, stages won by L.L. Sánchez and Warren Barguil respectively, the 12km climb is far from easy and will be a good appetizer for what's to come. Next up, the Col de Port, not in its entirety but still ranked as a 3rd Category climb. Then, it's a downhill run into Tarrascon, followed immediately by the Pas de Souloumbrie (2nd Category) and the Plateau de Beille (HC Category), the day's deciding climb.

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Stage 12 - CARCASSONNE - MONTPELLIER (164km) - Flat

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With the terrain being flat, one might turn a blind eye to Stage 12, that would be a terrible decision. The reason being the crosswinds, that could quite literally blow the race apart. Not only the sprinters should be on high alert, but the GC contenders too, just one mistake in positioning could end your yellow jersey hopes. But bravery is rewarded too, as we saw in 2016, when yellow jersey Chris Froome went clear with green jersey wearer Peter Sagan in an iconic moment of the race. Whatever happens, it will for sure be 164 enthrawling kilometres.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/132250


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Stage 13 - NÎMES - MARSEILLE (140km) - Flat

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For two days in a row, the peloton must face the fearsome southern France winds. With it being a short stage, the speeds will be fast and adding the factor of the numerous sections of crosswinds along the route provided by the famous Mistral winds, the race will surely blow to pieces. The first 40km will be a tailwind, up until they cross the river Rhône and head to Saint-Martin-de-Crau, where the riders will turn east for a slight crosswind until the feed zone in Salon-de-Provence where hopefully things will cool down a bit. In the 30km from Salon-de-Provence to the intermediate sprint in Aix-de-Provence, the riders will once again enjoy a tailwind. Then from the intermediate sprint in Aix-en-Provence onwards, the crosswind will almost certainly kick in and will be the section where splits will almost certainly be made. Finally they will enter the Vieux-Port and finish in the pictoresque Anse de l'Oriol.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/132442


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Stage 14 - CANNES - MANOSQUE (178km) - Medium Mountain

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With the two sprint stages behind us, the riders go back into climbers' territory with a 178km ride from Cannes to Manosque in the hilly terrain of the Côte d'Azur. The route includes five categorized climbs including Le Tanneron and Col de la Grange, both of 2nd Category. Though the hardest climbs won't play a major part in the outcome of the stage, it will certainly soften up the legs of those ready to battle it out for the stage win.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/132693

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Stage 15 - AVIGNON - MONT VENTOUX (135km) - High Mountain

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As the second week comes to a close, the entertainment certainly doesn't as the riders tackle the famous Mont Ventoux. Before they do, they must complete a 115km loop around the flatlands in the south of the Rhône Valley, passing through Bagnoles-sur-Cèze, Orange, the feed zone; Carpentras, the intermediate sprint; and Bédoin before ascending the Ventoux. Though it won't be a decider as to who will be wearing yellow in Paris, it will certainly put the General Classification into a clearer perspective.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/132786


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Stage 16 - BESANÇON - CHALON-SUR-SAÔNE (154km) - Flat

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After a transfer and rest day in Besançon, the riders will ease into the third week with a relatively simple ride from Besaçon to Chalon-sur-Saône. In the first test of the last week of racing, the riders will head west from Besançon to the feed zone in Dijon and will then go directly south to the finish in Chalon-sur-Saône. While the main GC contenders will want to slowly refind their form after the rest day, the sprinters will have other ideas and will be looking to seize their last chance before Paris.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/132901


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Stage 17 - MAÇON - LYON (169km) - Medium Mountain

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As a warm-up for the Alps, Stage 17 sees the riders complete a 169km route across the hilly terrain of Bourgogne. With the main GC contenders thinking about the mountain days ahead, there's an opportunity up for grabs for a puncheur to ride the breakaway and cruise to victory, like Matteo Trentin did in the same finish in 2013, Lyon. This time round, the riders will approach France's third biggest city from Maçon, but before doing so, must crest five categorized climbs, four of which, are 2nd Catrgory. However the four 2nd Category climbs come within the first 100km, so there is still a chance a lightweight sprinter capable of staying with the group over the Croix Vitaise (3rd Category) could be fighting for victory once we reach the finish line in the Place des Terreaux.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/132950


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Stage 18 - ALLEVARD - SAINT-JEAN-DE-MAURIENNE (189km) - High Mountain

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The Alps are finally here and present themselves with a relentless day crossing three peaks, including the mythical Col de la Madeleine followed by the Col de la Croix de Fer. The riders will set sale from the Bassin du Flemet in Allevard and after just 9km of flat will begin the first difficulty of the day, the Col du Grand Cucheron (2nd Catrgory). Once crested the Grand Cucheron, there is over 40km of flat on the menu before reaching the foot of the Col de la Madeleine in Feissons-sur-Issère. From then on in, it's either up or down and where the queen stage really earns its title. First of the two Hors Catégorie climbs is the Madeleine, 24'8km at 6'2%, although it's more than 150km from home, it will almost certainly make a fine selection within the peloton. Where the fireworks will really be is on the Croix de Fer, 22'9km at 6'9%. However,if someone is to decide to show their cards on the final climb, must maintain their advantage on the long descent down into Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/133107


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Stage 19 - BOURG-SAINT-MAURICE - COL DU GALIBIER (156km) - High Mountain

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An absolute brute is the only way to describe Stage 19 and although it doesn't boast as much height gain as the day before, it's just as hard and suits only the brave. The 156km slog sees the riders head south from Bourg-Saint-Maurice to the legendary Col du Galibier. The two Hors Catégorie climbs are exceptional in their own right, the Col d'Iseran, the longest and highest pass of this edition of the Tour de France (Souvenir Henri Desgrange), also known for being the highest paved road of the Alps; and the Col du Galibier, the most used mountain in Tour de France history, conquered on 60 occasions spanning over 100 years. A historic stage that takes a monumental effort to win it.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/133161


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Stage 20 - GRENOBLE - ALPE D'HUEZ (144km) - High Mountain

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Last, but certainly not least, of the three decisive Alpine stages is headlined by the legendary Alpe d'Huez. Its 21 hairpins will dictate the final outcome of the General Classification and will crown the edition's yellow jersey winner. But lets not forget there is a stage win up for grabs and three other climbs on the menu. First up is the Col de la Morte, as the name indicates, is a hellish climb which must not be underestimated for its 1st Category as it's longer than the final climb. Then it's flat all the way to the foot of the Col de Parquetout (2nd Category). From then on, it's either up or down all the way to the finish. A thrilling stage to finish off a thrilling three weeks.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/133195


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Stage 21 - VERSAILLES - PARIS (106km) - Flat

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With all three weeks of racing over and done with, it's time for the ceremonial ride into the Champs Élysèes in Paris. While the yellow jersey will have champagne and celebration on his mind, the sprinters would have been patiently waiting through the Alps for the unofficial world championships of sprinting on the beautiful Champs Élysèes. They will first of all start off from the gates of the Château de Versailles, heading to Le Chesnay and then to Sèvres for the last categorized climb of the day even though the Polka-Dot jersey will for sure already be won. After that they will head for Paris from Boulogne-Billancourt, passing the Arc de Triomphe and the Tour Eiffel. With the touristy side of things done, the real racing gets underway with 10 laps of the famous Champs Élyseès circuit to finish off a fabulous three weeks of racing around France.

See in more detail: maps/viewtrack/hd/133317


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