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32nd Route du Sud - Preview
 
By Andy McGrath
Date: 6/18/2008
32nd Route du Sud - Preview
 

The last stage race before le Tour includes the likes of the Tourmalet, Peyresourde, Cauterets and Super-Bagneres; Garzelli, Moreau, Danielson and Casar are the headliners. Stages, contenders, start list and palmares inside.

With just over two weeks till the Tour gets underway in Brest, the domestic peloton is heading to the Pyrenees for the last stage race before the Big One: the Route du Sud. Though smaller than its more illustrious July counterparts - the Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse - this event has become a cornerstone in French teams' fine-tuning for the Grande Boucle. Packing plenty of mountains, including the Tourmalet, the Peyresourde and Super-Bagneres, into its four-day schedule, it will provide a crucial opportunity to see what condition the team leaders are in ahead of the biggest race of the year.

The 2009 Route du Sud
19 June, Stage 1: Lusignan Petit - Boulougne-sur-Gesse, 206km
20 June, Stage 2: Pierrefitte Nestalas - Cauterets (Cambasque), 17km individual time-trial
21 June, Stage 3: Pierrefitte Nestalas - Luchon (Superbagneres), 181km
22 June, Stage 4: Saint Gaudens - Castres, 207km

The 206km opening stage from Luisignan Petit to Boulougne sur Gesse is bumpy, but should not cause undue problems to the GC favourites, considering the Hors-Cat horrors in store for them later. With plenty of gentle, but draggy uphill in the final fifteen kilometres, including a Cat 3 GPM, it's possible that a bunch sprint will be avoided, though men like Luca Paolini and Allan Davis will be hoping for a gallop.
In past years, the often-docile opening stage has sometimes seen big breakaways taking bags of time on the bunch (Thomas Voeckler utilised this tactic in 2006 before showing his climbing strength to win overall). However, the difficulty of the coming stages means any advantages gained will be anything but certain.

The very next day, the general classification will immediatedly be given an almighty shake-up, with a 17km mountain time-trial, gaining 900m in altitude, up to Cauterets (Cambasque). The ascent maight be remembered for its inclusion in the 1989 Tour de France, when Miguel Indurain took the win at the top.

Indeed, this year's edition continues to follow in the long-faded tyre-tracks of the '89 Tour, with a queen stage culminating in a summit finish up to the climb of Super-Bagneres. Any time gaps made the previous day could be reveresed or widened; any tired legs will be in for more pain. From the day's start in Pierrefitte Nestalas, the pack will climb the famous Col du Tourmalet, though its placement at the stage means it should have little effect on the results.
After the descent and 100 flattish kilometres in the Haute-Pyrenees, there are the two Cat 1 climbs of the Val Louron and the Peyresourde before that final slog up to Super-Bagneres. By the day's closing challenge, it is likely to be every man for himself. The first rider across the line could well turn out to be the 2009 race winner.

There is a flat stage to close this year's Route du Sud, covering 207km from St Gaudens to Castres; last year, a breakaway containing no contenders made it to the finish line ahead of the main bunch.

The Contenders
The big-name riders in attendance are Christophe Moreau (Agritubel), Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone), 2005 winner Sandy Casar (Francaise des Jeux) and Tom Danielson (Garmin-Chipotle); coincidentally, all four will fancy themselves as potential winners. After an anonymous 2009 so far, Danielson is particularly under pressure to perform in the Tour de France. A good showing here would certainly not go amiss.

Though last year's champ Oscar Sevilla is across the pond racing with Rock Racing, runner-up Massimo Giunti (Miche-Silver Cross) is here. The likes of Tadej Valjavec, Rinaldo Nocentini, Trent Lowe, Dauphiné stage winner Dmitri Fofonov and recent, surprise Volta a Catalunya winner Gustavo Cesar Veloso will also be looking to make favourable impressions on the overall or nab a stage win.

It is likely that one of the two flattish stages will culminate in a big bunch finish. In that eventuality, Luca Paolini (Acqua & Sapone), Allan Davis (Mitsubishi-Jartazi), Said Haddou (Bouygues Telecom), Jeremy Hunt (Crédit Agricole), Anthony Ravard (Agritubel) and Steve Chainel (Auber 93) should be among the fast men vying for victory.

Start List
AGRITUBEL
Directeur sportif: Emmanuel HUBERT
1 MOREAU Christophe
2 JALABERT Nicolas
3 GONZALO Eduardo
4 COUTOULY Cédric
5 BERGES Emilien
6 RINERO Christophe
7 LEQUATRE Geoffroy
8 RAVARD Anthony

FRANCAISE DES JEUX
Directeur sportif : Franck PINEAU
11 CASAR Sandy
12 CHEREL Mikaël
13 GUDSELL Timothy
14 JEGOU Lilian
15 LEBOULANGER Yoann
16 LEVARLET Guillaume
17 OFFREDO Yoann
18 ROY Jérémy

COFIDIS
Directeur sportif : Alain DELOEUIL
21 BUFFAZ Mikaël
22 DE WEERT Kevin
23 EL FARES Julien
24 HUGUET Yann
25 HARTMANN Nicolas
26 HARY Maryan
27 TAARAMAE Rein
28 VILLA Romain

BOUYGUES TELECOM
Directeur sportif : Dominique ARNOULD
31 BERNAUDEAU Giovanni
32 CLAUDE Mathieu
33 CLERC Aurélien
34 CROSBIE Nicolas
35 GENE Yohann
36 HADDOU Saïd
37 RENIER Franck
38 SOKOLOV Evgeny

AG2R LA MONDIALE
Directeur sportif : Julien JURDIE
41 VALJAVEC Tadej
42 LOUBET Julien
43 NOCENTINI Rinaldo
44 PLIUSCHIN Alexandr
45 POULHIES Stéphane
46 SENAC Jean-Charles
47 SONNERY Blaise
48 TURPIN Ludovic

CREDIT AGRICOLE
Directeur sportif : Serge BEUCHERIE
51 BERTHOU Eric
52 FOFONOV Dmitriy
53 GERRANS Simon
54 HIVERT Jonathan
55 HUNT Jeremy
56 LE MEVEL Christophe
57 MARINO Jean-Marc
58 MEDEREL Maxime

AUBER 93
Directeur sportif : Stéphane JAVALET
61 BROUZES Niels
62 CHAINEL Stève
63 CHEDHOMME Morgan
64 GALLAND Jérémie
65 JEANNESSON Arnold
66 MESPOULEDE Jean
67 MORIZOT Florian
68 THIRE Jonathan

BRETAGNE ARMOR LUX
Directeur sportif : Roger TREHIN
71 DURET Sébastien
72 GAUTIER Cyrille
73 LE FLOCH Guillaume
74 LE LAY David
75 LELARGE Noan
76 PIVOIS Yann
77 POILVET Benoît
78 ZIELINSKI Piotr

ROUBAIX LILLE METROPOLE
Directeur sportif : Frédéric DELCAMBRE
81 BIDEAU Jean-Marc
82 CAZAUX Pierre
83 GUILLOU Florian
84 LARPE Mickael
85 MOUCHERAUD Paul
86 ROBIN Denis
87 TRONET Steven
88 VACHON Florian

MICHE SILVER CROSS
Directeur sportif : Marco TOZZI
91 NIEMIEC Przemyslaw
92 SZCZAWINSKI Krzysztof
93 GIUNTI Massimo
94 CARVAJAL Edwin
95 MUTO Pasquale
96 SERRI Eddy
97 CARTA Maurizio
98 USAI Stefano

KARPIN GALICIA
Directeur sportif : Jésus BLANCO VILLAR
101 CESAR VELOSO Gustavo
102 TRONCOSO SOBRINO Ramon
103 MARTINEZ ACEVEDO Serafin
104 ABAL DIEGO David
105 PALEO MOSQUERA Alejandro
106 FERNANDEZ SAINZ Alberto
107 CASTANO PANADERO Carlos
108 MAYOZ ECHEVERRIA Iban

MITSUBISHI JARTAZI
Directeur sportif : Joseph BRAECKEVELDT
111 ABOUKOUMOV Igor
112 HABEAUX Gregory
113 KRIIT Kalle
114 MIKHAILOV Guennadi
115 NEVENS Sven
116 DAVIS Allan
117 TOMBAK Janek
118 VERHEYEN Geert

SLIPSTREAM CHIPOTLE PRESENTED BY H30
Directeur sportif : Lionel MARIE
121 DANIELSON Tom
122 FRISCHKORN Will
123 FARRAR Tyler
124 LAURENT Christophe
125 LOWE Trent
126 MAASKANT Martijn
127 MARTIN Dan
128 PETERSON Tom

ACQUA & SAPONE - CAFE MOKAMBO
Directeur sportif : Bruno CENGHIALTA
131 AREKEEV Alexander
132 CODOL Massimo
133 GARZELLI Stefano
134 GENTILI Massimiliano
135 MASCIARELLI Simone
136 MILAN JIMENEZ Diego
137 PAOLINI Luca
138 PIERFELICI Luca

STEGCOMPUTER-CKT-COGEAS
Directeur sportif : Markus KAMMERMANN
141 ALBIEZ Timo
142 EMINGER Christian
145 HAISER Michael
144 JIRIAKOV Dimitri
145 KORKOTYAN Tigran
146 KRIENBÜHL Fabian
147 LAULE Janush
148 ROCHA Christian

DIFFERDANGE - APIFLO VACANCES
Directeur sportif : Vincent LACRESSONNIERE
151 NAIBO Carl
152 FINOT Frédéric
153 MASSON Christophe
154 HARBONNIER Sébastien
155 BODO Thomas
156 BAZIN Nicolas
157
158

Palmares
1977 J. Esclassan (Fra)
1978 Villemiane (Fra)
1979 Y. Bertin (Fra)
1980 G. Duclos-Lassalle (Fra)
1981 JF. Bernaudeau (Fra)
1982 F. Moser (Ita)
1983 G. Duclos-Lassalle (Fra)
1984 P. Simon (Fra)
1985 S. Roche (Ita)
1986 N. Ruttiman (Swi)
1987 R. Clere (Fra)
1988 R. Pensec (Fra)
1989 G. Duclos-Lassalle (Fra)
1990 Y. Bonamour (Fra)
1991 L. Dufaux (Swi)
1992 A. Kasputis (Lit)
1993 E. Boyer (Fra)
1994 A. Mejia (Col)
1995 L. Dufaux (Swi)
1996 L. Jalabert (Fra)
1997 P. Jonker (Aus)
1998 A. de las Cuevas (Fra)
1999 J. Vaughters (Usa)
2000 T. Brozyna (Pol)
2001 A. Kivilev (Kaz)
2002 L. Leipheimer (Usa)
2003 M. Rogers (Aus)
2004 B. McGee (Aus)
2005 S. Casar (Fra)
2006 T. Voeckler (Fra)
2007 O. Sevilla (Spa)

 
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