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Tour de France - Stage 9 preview
By Podofdonny
Date: 7/13/2003
Tour de France - Stage 9 preview

© 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.

A very difficult stage to make predictions on

Courtesy Francis & Sheila's Virtual Alps

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