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Tour de France Parcours - Part Three
By Podofdonny
Date: 6/27/2003
Tour de France Parcours - Part Three

100th Tour de France

© Copyright Amaury Sport Organisation / A.S.O. 2003

Please visit the official site here.

Parcours Part Three

Stage 9 - July 14: Bourg d'Oisans to Gap, 184.5 km

© Copyright Amaury Sport Organisation / A.S.O. 2003

After the struggles on the Alpe d’Huez this years Tour will prove that stage racing is all about recovery with an intriguing stage for Bastille Day.

Not only will the French riders be full of determination to do well on their National day but the parcours could lead to one of the most interesting days of the race.

The riders start the Cat One climb of the Col du Lauteret almost from the gun. The climb is not steep but 1,300 metres of climbing could well split the peloton - to have riders left behind so early in a stage could lead to many riders failing to make the time cut at the end of the stage, particularly those who have not recovered from the previous days exertions. Things don’t get any easier when after passing through Europes highest town at Briancon they then tackle the legendary Col d’Izoard.

To visit a great site on Mountain climbs click here.

Courtesy Francis & Sheila's Virtual Alps

The Hors Categorie climb comes after 86.5 kilometres into the 184 kilometre stage - the big question is will any high ranked rider have the audacity to launch an attack so early into the stage? If so race fans will be in for a rare treat as the last rolling 100 kilometres also take in two climbs, St Apollinaire and Côte de La Rochette.

Either way it promises to be a stage of high drama, and heartache for those sprinters unable to make the time limit.

Meanwhile, Gilberto Simoni has been training on these roads recently - this is his verdict.

Team Saeco's recognition of the three alpine stages of the Tour de France ended today after two days of hard riding.

The winner of the recent Giro d'Italia first checked out the stage seven of the Tour to Morzine on Wednesday with team mates Di Luca, Sacchi and Pugaci, with full back up from directeur sportif Giuseppe Martinelli, mechanic Giuseppe Archetti and soigneur Massimiliano Napolitano.

Simoni rode the last 120km of the stage and then rode an extra 40km with Sacchi to complete the day's training. Naturally all their attention was on the final climb the Col de la Ramaz: "A really tough climb, which I didn't know and so was vital to see," Martinelli said.

The first part of today was spent looking at the early section of the stage to L'Alpe d'Huez. After 80km by car, Simoni and his team mates rode the last 110km of the stage climbing the Telegraphe, the Galibier and L'Alpe d'Huez. Before heading back to Italy Simoni and Martinelli also studied the final part of the Col de Lautaret which is part of the ninth stage to Gap. They also rode the Izoard before a quick trip to see the last two short climbs.

"It was an excellent trip," Simoni said at the end of the sun-baked two-day visit to France.

"I felt good and was pedalling well. We did the climbs and descents without worrying about the speed, the most important thing was to study the key points of the stages and memorise them."

Simoni has no doubts about which is the hardest Alpine stage: "The stage to Morzine is hard but is only a warm-up for the following day to L'Alpe d'Huez. That's the most difficult stage of all and it's where I think there will be big time gaps. The stage over the Izoard is not as tough but with heavy legs it could still hurt."

Courtesy Francis & Sheila's Virtual Alps

Stage 10 - July 15: Gap - Marseille, 210 km

© Copyright Amaury Sport Organisation / A.S.O. 2003

So after three days of high drama, tired legs and mountains the peloton takes a southerly descent down to the sea.

With the rest day looming and enough gaps in the general classification expect to see many break way attempts by low placed riders throughout the stage.

Whether the sprinters teams will have the strength left to chase them all down remains to be seen but certainly it could be the day for the great escape to succeed. Meanwhile, safe in the peloton, the handful of riders still in for a chance for the yellow jersey will be protected by their team mates and given an easy ride as possible.

Courtesy Saeco

Rest Day - July 16:

A rest day that some riders will enjoy and others find a nuisance as it will break their rhythm.

Daily Peloton Readers can while away their time with this little quiz. 10 questions in all - the answers are at the bottom of the page (no peeking!)

Rest Day Quiz

Question 1 - No prizes for identifying the rider but name the year and stage of this Tour de France win for this Texan fellah.

Question 2 - A Panda with spots! What year was the polka dot jersey introduced to the race and who was the first rider to win it?

Question 3 - Name the two Postmen leading the way.

Question 4 - name the German and French rider - which one took yellow after this stage?

Question 5 - When asked by a reporter on what he thinks about on the bike he replied, "Dairy Queen, God I dream about Dairy Queen." Who said that?

Question 6 - Who holds the record for best young rider white jersey wins?

Question 7 - Europe Sans Frontières - During the Tour de France of 1992, the parcours crossed European borders seven times. Everytime the riders had to pass one of them, a special intermediate sprint was held. Who won the competition?

Question 8 - International Arm wrestling? Who is Lance Armstrong flexing muscles with?

Question 9 - Only one rider has ridden all three major Tours in one year and won one of them. Who was that then?

Question 10 - Who has the most podium finishes in the Tour de France (positions 1, 2 and 3 overall)?

Rest Day Answers

Question 1 : Lance Armstrong from the USA and riding for the US Postal team celebrates as he collected his third stage win of the 2001 Tour de France during Stage 13 from Foix to St. Lary Soulan, France.

Question 2 : The Polka Dot Jersey itself was introduced in 1975. The first rider to win it was Dutchman Joop Zoetemelk

Question 3 : Steffen Kjaergaard from Norway leads US Postal Service team mate George Hincapie.

Question 4 : Jens Voigt, left, from Germany and riding for Credit Agricole crosses the finish line in second place for the day ahead of Laurent Roux of the Jean Delatour team as Voigt captured the yellow jersey during stage seven of the 2001 Tour de France from Strasbourg to Colmar, France

Question 5 : Greg Lemond (European readers will be disappointed to learn that “Dairy Queen” is apparently a USA café chain!)

Question 6 : Jan Ullrich

Question 7 : Viatcheslav Ekimov

Question 8 : Roberto Laiseka

Question 9 : 1957 Gastone Nencini (Ita) (1st in Giro, 6th in Tour de France, 9th in Vuelta Espana)

Question 10 : Poulidor. 8 times in the top three - 1962/3-1964/2-1965/2-1966/3-1969/3- 1972/3-1974/2-1976/3

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Tour de France 2003 - Parcours
Tour de France Parcours - Part 2

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