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100th year of the Tour de France - Tour de force

100th year of the Tour de France - Tour de force

11 Jun 2013 BY Tim Wells

This summer will see the 100th Tour de France cycling race, which for the first time ever will wind its way through the scenic landscapes of Corsica, the only part of France that the Tour had not yet visited. The Grand Départ will take place in Porto Vecchio on June 29th, with the last of the three Corsican stages taking in three cols in the central mountains in preparation for the shattering mountain stages to come. The remainder of the 3360km Tour route will remain within the boundaries of France for the first time since 2003. The 21 stages are divided into the usual mix of flat, hilly, mountain stages, and time trials. Ten French cities will host a Tour start or finish for the first time, including Cagnes-sur-Mer and Annecy. The gruelling mountain stages will include a double ascent of the Alpe d’Huez, and the first Tour ascent since 2009 of iconic Mont Ventoux, a climb classified as “beyond category” (of exceptional difficulty). The Tour will truly be a tour of the country, passing by numerous World Heritage sites, and through some of France’s most colourful towns and cities: Marseille, Albi, Montpellier, Lyon, Vaison-la-Romaine, and of course the final stage from Versailles to the Champs Elysées in Paris on July 21st.

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