20 / 10 / 2010

Tour de France 2011

As I write this I’m aware that my thoughts and attentions are with the upcoming winter season. The first snow has fallen in the Alps and there’s a real feeling that winter is just round the corner. That said the route for the 2011 Tour de France was announced yesterday with great pomp and ceromony in Paris despite last years winner, Alberto Contador, not being present pending further doping investigations.

This year marks the centenary year of the tours first alpine climb and to mark the occasion the organisers have included the highest alpine finish in the tours history, the 2,645m summit on the Galibier in Serre Chevalier some 40 minutes from Sauze d’Oulx.

The race will start in France for once on the west coast at Passage du Gois. The only time the riders will step, if thats the right word, out of France is to climb up to Pinerolo just over the mountain from Sauze d’Oulx. This will be closest the tour has come to Sauze since 1999 when Sestriere had a stage finish won by Lance Armstrong on his way to his first of 7 tour wins.

Dates for your diary are 20th July Pinerolo and 21st July Galibier.
Click here for a view of the full route.

To get you in the mood I’ve included a video of Lance on his way upto Sestriere in 1999.