A modest Grand Tour

By Gregor Brown in Paris The Tour de France will be a Grand Tour of modest terms for 2008. As this...

By Gregor Brown in Paris

The Tour de France will be a Grand Tour of modest terms for 2008. As this year's route is being presented in Paris, Cyclingnews has confirmed that there will be no transfers in the 3554 kilometres that make up next year's three-week race, July 5 to 27.

"Sometimes less is more in a Grand Tour," noted Quick.Step Team Manager Patrick Lefevere in Paris.

The race kicks off on Saturday, July 5, with its Grand Départ in the cycling-rich province of Brittany. (Read news item Tour de France 2008 to start in Brest and visit Italy.) It then travels in a counter-clockwise motion, hitting the Pyrénées and then the Alps before its traditional finish on the Champs-Élysées, Sunday, July 27, in Paris.

Keeping in its modest terms, the 95th edition will contain one time trial of 29 kilometres in Cholet and a second one – of normal Tour length – on the penultimate day of 53 kilometres, from Cerilly to Saint-Amand-Montrond.

"Maybe I might have to modify my training a little," Cadel Evans, second in the 2006 Tour, said to Cyclingnews when he heard of the minimal time trial kilometres.

The modesty of the world's largest bike race will be forgotten when riders hit the high peaks near Spain and Italy. Planned is a return to Hautacam, a romp up the 2802-metre Col de la Bonnette-Restefonds and the mythical Alpe d'Huez. The demanding mountains and minimal time trials will make a 2008 Tour de France that favours the mountain men.

Please return to Cyclingnews for the full parcours of the Tour de France.

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