Next year’s Tour de France is going to be an interesting one. Bypassing the Normandy and Brittany regions completely, the Tour will mostly be held in central, southern, and eastern France, departing from Monaco, and featuring sojourns into Spain, Andorra, Italy, and Switzerland.

The most interesting feature that I’ve been able to glean thus far? The Stage 20 finish atop the Mont Ventoux … while the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España have both had summit finishes on the penultimate stage, the Tour de France never has.

This will truly make for an interesting final week, but one almost has to give the edge to Astana’s Alberto Contador for the overall win, simply due to this final twist.

Returning to the Tour in 2009 is the team time trial, which should favor the Christian Vandevelde and Dave Zabriskie’s Slipstream-Chipotle squad in the early days of the race.

Look at me, we’re in the midst of cyclocross season, ski season is about to start, and I’m already giddy for July.

The Stages


Stage Type Date Start and Finish Distance
1 Individual TT Saturday 4 July Monaco > Monaco 15 km
2 Plain Sunday 5 July Monaco > Brignoles 182 km
3 Plain Monday 6 July Marseille > La Grande-Motte 196 km
4 Team TT Tuesday 7 July Montpellier > Montpellier 38 km
5 Plain Wednesday 8 July Le Cap d’Agde > Perpignan 197 km
6 Plain Thursday 9 July Gérone > Barcelone 175 km
7 High Mountains Friday 10 July Barcelone > Andorre Arcalis 224 km
8 High Mountains Saturday 11 July Andorre-la-Vieille > Saint-Girons 176 km
9 High Mountains Sunday 12 July Saint-Gaudens > Tarbes 160 km
R Rest Day Monday 13 July Limoges
10 Plain Tuesday 14 July Limoges > Issoudun 193 km
11 Plain Wednesday 15 July Vatan > Saint-Fargeau 192 km
12 Plain Thursday 16 July Tonnerre > Vittel 200 km
13 Medium mountains Friday 17 July Vittel > Colmar 200 km
14 Plain Saturday 18 July Colmar > Besançon 199 km
15 High Mountains Sunday 19 July Pontarlier > Verbier 207 km
R Rest Day Monday 20 July Verbier
16 High Mountains Tuesday 21 July Martigny > Bourg-Saint-Maurice 160 km
17 High Mountains Wednesday 22 July Bourg-Saint-Maurice > Le Grand-Bornand 169 km
18 Individual TT Thursday 23 July Annecy > Annecy 40 km
19 Plain Friday 24 July Bourgoin-Jallieu > Aubenas 195 km
20 High Mountains Saturday 25 July Montélimar > Mont Ventoux 167 km
21 Plain Sunday 26 July Montereau-Fault-Yonne > Paris Champs-Élysées 160 km