Tour de France Course Profile
English philosopher Thomas Hobbes described human life in a state of nature as ?nasty, cruel, brutish, and short.? At 3,604 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 67.5-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. Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel) and Bobby Julich and Ivan Basso (both from CSC) should excel in the race of truth.
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
Stage 4 will be the race?s first test of strength for the teams. The stage will be a 67.5-km team time trial from
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. Expect Frenchmen such as David Moncoutie (Cofidis) or Didier Rous (Bouygues Telecom) to try to escape for a win on Bastille Day. 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. Stages 14 and 15 will end in donnybrooks on the final climb. In Stage 16, the final Pyrenean stage, the riders will breast four categorized climbs within 70 km in midstage. Lance Armstrong, Ivan Basso, Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner), Iban Mayo (Euskaltel), and Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) will battle for victory and the maillot jaune in Stages 14 and 15, while a small group might battle for the day?s honors in Stage 16.
Stages 17 to 19 will be for the sprinters. Stage 17 will be a 239-km run from
Stage 20 will be a 55-km time trial at St. Etienne. Armstrong, Ullrich, Basso, and Santiago Botero (Phonak) will fight for the stage win. 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
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