It was made official in an 11:30 BST news conference. The 95th Tour de France, starting July 5th and leaving from Brest, will not have the usual 5 – 10km prologue. This will be the first time in 41 years (last was the 1967 Tour) that they have skipped the prologue. Apparently one hope seems to be keeping time trailers from pulling the yellow. In Christian Prudhomme’s second full year lkeading the Tour, he seems to be dropping the hammer a bit, amidst the doping fiascos of past Tour’s. Prudhomme was also quoted as saying “No teams are guarteed being at the start line” and has alluded to being in favor of the UCI and WADA the introduction ‘biological passports’ of sorts. I can’t help but think that the blood testing in this years Tour is going to be a total wreck.
The Tour will begin in Brest and spend the first few days in France’s Brittany region. From there it will head counter-clockwise south for the first TT in Cholet for stage four. By stage six this year, the climbing will begin. A flat in eight, followed by ten and eleven climbs (with a rest day in between), and more flats in twelve, thirteen, and fourteen. Fifteen takes us into the iften overlooked high mountains of Digne-les-Bains in the southern French Alps and (this is where it gets good on account I’m Italian), up into the Italian Alps (WOO HOO!). Then another rest day, and onto sixteen and seventeen into the extremely high mountains. Eighteen will drop slightly followed by a stage nineteen time trial. Rounding out the race, twenty will be slight hills and finally the twentieth at the Champs-Élysées.
This year, says Prudehomme, twenty teams will be invited, and all of the riders will have to comply with the concept of blood passports (read as ‘biological passports). Also, they will drop the time bonuses at the end of the stages.
Below you can find a table of the race stages, and the cities:
Tour de France 2008
Stage 1 Saturday 5 July Brest to Plumelec 195km Flat
Stage 2 Sunday 6 July Auray to Saint-Brieuc 165km Flat
Stage 3 Monday 7 July Saint-Maloto Nantes 195km Flat
Stage 4 Tuesday 8 July Cholet to Cholet 29km I.T.T.
Stage 5 Wednesday 9 July Cholet to Châteauroux 230km Flat
Stage 6 Thursday 10 July Aigurande to Super-Besse Sancy 195km Hilly
Stage 7 Friday 11 July Brioude to Aurillac 158km Hilly
Stage 8 Saturday 12 July Figeac to Toulouse 174km Flat
Stage 9 Sunday 13 July Toulouse to Bagnères-de-Bigorre 222km Mtn.
Stage 10 Monday 14 July Pau to Hautacam 154km Mtn.
Rest Day Tuesday 15 July Pau - -
Stage 11 Wednesday 16 July Lannemezan to Foix 166km Hilly
Stage 12 Thursday 17 July Lavelanet to Narbonne 168km Flat
Stage 13 Friday 18 July Narbonne to Nîmes 182 km Flat
Stage 14 Saturday 19 July Nîmes to Digne-les-Bains 182km Flat
Stage 15 Sunday 20 July Digne-les-Bains to Prato Nevoso 216km Mtn.
Rest Day Monday 21 July Cueno - -
Stage 16 Tuesday 22 July Cuneo to Jausiers 157km Mtn.
Stage 17 Wednesday 23 July Embrun to L'Alpe-d'Huez 210km Mtn.
Stage 18 Thursday 24 July Bourg-d'Oisans to Saint-Étienne 197km Hilly
Stage 19 Friday 25 July Roanne to Montluçon 163km Flat
Stage 20 Saturday 26 July Cérilly to Saint-Amand-Montrond 53km I.T.T.
Stage 21 Sunday 27 July Étampes to Paris (Champs-Élysées) 143km Flat
• Total Distance: 3500km
• 10 flat stages
• 5 mountain stages
• 4 medium mountain stages
• 2 Individual Time-trials
• No Team Time Trial
• 4 mountain-top finishes
• 2 rest days
• 82 kilometers of individual time-trials
• A total of 19 Category 1, Category 2 or 'hors categorie' climbs
Table and Details compiled from AP press release*
4 months ago