The event that all cycling enthusiasts have been waiting for, the 98th instalment of the Tour De France is finally here! This year’s historic event is set to be one to remember as back to back champion Alberto Contador will defend his title against the likes of Australian champion Cadel Evans and Luxembourg’s young gun Andy Schleck.
Running from Saturday July 2nd to Sunday July 24th the 2011 Tour De France will be comprised of 21 stages and will cover an amazing 3,430.5 kilometres. The 2011 grand start will take place at Passage du Gois La Barre de Monts and will continue 191.5km to Mont des Alouettes Les Herbiers.
The entire 2011 route will comprise of 9 flat stages, 3 medium mountain stages, 6 high mountain stages, 2 time trial stages and 2 rest days. After a gruelling three weeks the riders will cross the finish line at the historic Paris Champs-Élysées.
The 2011 Tour de France route will surely separate the weak from the strong as the final high mountain stage of Modane Valfréjus to Alpe-d’Huez will be a difficult test for any champion. The climb of 2,566m will have all riders worried as tired legs and tired minds will show and every rider will have to fight to make the required time frame.
Australian favourite Cadel Evans will want retribution after last year’s race having suffered a fractured elbow eliminating his chances of claiming his first Tour De France title. Fierce rivals such as Andy Schleck, Vincenzo Nibali and Riccardo Ricco are only a few of the champions that are riding this year, making the 2011 Le Tour De France one not to miss.
2011 Le Tour De France Stages
|Stage||Type||Date||Start and Finish||Distance|
|1||Flat||Saturday 2 July||Passage du Gois La Barre de Monts > Mont des Alouettes Les Herbiers||191.5 km|
|2||Team TT||Sunday 3 July||Les Essarts > Les Essarts||23 km|
|3||Flat||Monday 4 July||Olonne sur Mer > Redon||198 km|
|4||Flat||Tuesday 5 July||Lorient > Mûr-de-Bretagne||172.5 km|
|5||Flat||Wednesday 6 July||Carhaix > Cap Fréhel||164.5 km|
|6||Flat||Thursday 7 July||Dinan > Lisieux||226.5 km|
|7||Flat||Friday 8 July||Le Mans > Châteauroux||218 km|
|8||Medium mountains||Saturday 9 July||Aigurande > Super-Besse Sancy||189 km|
|9||Medium mountains||Sunday 10 July||Issoire > Saint-Flour||208 km|
|Rest||Monday 11 July||Le Lioran Cantal|
|10||Flat||Tuesday 12 July||Aurillac > Carmaux||158 km|
|11||Flat||Wednesday 13 July||Blaye-les-Mines > Lavaur||167.5 km|
|12||High Mountains||Thursday 14 July||Cugnaux > Luz-Ardiden||211 km|
|13||High Mountains||Friday 15 July||Pau > Lourdes||152.5 km|
|14||High Mountains||Saturday 16 July||Saint-Gaudens > Plateau de Beille||168.5 km|
|15||Flat||Sunday 17 July||Limoux > Montpellier||192.5 km|
|Rest||Monday 18 July||Département de la Drôme|
|16||Medium mountains||Tuesday 19 July||Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux > Gap||162.5 km|
|17||High Mountains||Wednesday 20 July||Gap > Pinerolo||179 km|
|18||High Mountains||Thursday 21 July||Pinerolo > Galibier - Serre Chevalier||200.5 km|
|19||High Mountains||Friday 22 July||Modane Valfréjus > Alpe-d’Huez||109.5 km|
|20||Individual time-trial||Saturday 23 July||Grenoble > Grenoble||42.5 km|
|21||En ligne||Sunday 24 July||Créteil > Paris Champs-Élysées||95 km|
Le Tour Favourites
|1) Alberto Contador- A true cycling great who has won countless trophies establishing himself as the man to beat. This will be a hard task for any rider as Contador is going for his third consecutive Le Tour De France title and has just recently won this year’s Giro d’Italia.|
|2) Andy Schleck- An up and coming rider who has already established himself as a top contender in all competitions, Andy Schleck will be Contadors biggest competition. Schleck was runner up in last year’s Le Tour De France and from recent competitions has proven he hasn’t lost his form.|
|3) Cadel Evans- The Australian cycling great will certainly be a huge chance to win this year’s Le Tour De France title. The former world champion was runner up in 2008 and having suffered a broken elbow that ruined last year’s chances will have certainly increase his ambition to be crowned this year’s Le Tour De France champion.|
|4) Riccardo Ricco- The controversial Italian cyclist is back after being banned for a positive reading of a prohibited substance in the 2008 Le Tour De France. Prior to this he was establishing himself as a true contender in all stage events and will definitely be a title contender this year.|
|5) Vincenzo Nibali- ‘The Shark’ will be amongst the finalist in this year’s Le Tour De France after showing the world he is still in top form finishing third in this year’s Giro d’Italia. The former Vuelta a Espana champion has not performed as well in Le Tour as the he has in the other Grand Tours, but will definitely prove himself in this year’s Le Tour De France.|