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Tour de France 2008

Date range:
July 5-27, 2008
  • Tour de France, France, GT
  • Stages Expand the race menu
    • Stage 1

      Distance:
      197.5km
      Start location:
      Brest
      End location:
      Plumelec
    • Stage 2

      Distance:
      164.5km
      Start location:
      Auray
      End location:
      Saint Brieuc
    • Stage 3

      Distance:
      208km
      Start location:
      Saint-Malo
      End location:
      Nantes
    • Stage 4

      Distance:
      29.5km
      Start location:
      Cholet
      End location:
      Cholet (ITT)
    • Stage 5

      Distance:
      232km
      Start location:
      Cholet
      End location:
      Châteauroux
    • Stage 6

      Distance:
      195.5km
      Start location:
      Aigurande
      End location:
      Super Besse
    • Stage 7

      Distance:
      159km
      Start location:
      Brioude
      End location:
      Aurillac
    • Stage 8

      Distance:
      172.5km
      Start location:
      Figeac
      End location:
      Toulouse
    • Stage 9

      Distance:
      224km
      Start location:
      Toulouse
      End location:
      Bagnères de Bigorre
    • Stage 10

      Distance:
      156km
      Start location:
      Pau
      End location:
      Hautacam
    • Stage 11

      Distance:
      167.5km
      Start location:
      Lannemezan
      End location:
      Foix
    • Stage 12

      Distance:
      168.5km
      Start location:
      Lavelanet
      End location:
      Narbonne
    • Stage 13

      Distance:
      182km
      Start location:
      Narbonne
      End location:
      Nîmes
    • Stage 14

      Distance:
      194.5km
      Start location:
      Nîmes
      End location:
      Digne les Bains
    • Stage 15

      Distance:
      183km
      Start location:
      Embrun
      End location:
      Prato Nevoso
    • Stage 16

      Distance:
      157km
      Start location:
      Cuneo
      End location:
      Jausiers
    • Stage 17

      Distance:
      210.5km
      Start location:
      Embrun
      End location:
      L'Alpe d'Huez
    • Stage 18

      Distance:
      196.5km
      Start location:
      Bourg d'Oisans
      End location:
      Saint Étienne
    • Stage 19

      Distance:
      165.5km
      Start location:
      Roanne
      End location:
      Montluçon
    • Stage 20

      Distance:
      53km
      Start location:
      Cérilly
      End location:
      Saint Amand Montrond (ITT)
    • Stage 21

      Distance:
      143km
      Start location:
      Étampes
      End location:
      Paris/Champs Élysées
  • Race history

July 23, Stage 17: Embrun - L'Alpe d'Huez 210.5km

By:
Cycling News
Published:
June 24, 2008, 0:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 13:15 BST

This is the stage that all climbers want to win. Those mythical 21 hairpin bends have become...

This is the stage that all climbers want to win. Those mythical 21 hairpin bends have become synonymous with the Tour de France and a year without the Alpe seems somehow to have something missing. This is a long stage that takes in the familiar – but no less brutal – Cols du Galibier and Croix de Fer, although as a change they are tackled in a different order from usual.

In all likelihood, the main contenders will sit behind their team-mates for as long as possible and look to make their move on the final steep climb to Alpe d'Huez. The non super-climbers high up in the overall – if there are any left at this stage – will be looking to hold on for as long as possible. For the sprinters however, this will be a day of pure suffering.

The small town of Embrun must think all of its Christmases have come at once as this is their second stage of the Tour this year (they have been awarded the start of stage 15 due to rock falls in the Alps forcing a course change.) Alpe d'Huez on the other hand has hosted the Tour 25 times since that first time in 1952 when Fausto Coppi won, this equates to almost every other year.

Last time the Tour finished here, in 2006, it saw the emergence of Fränk Schleck (CSC) as a future major force in Grand Tours as he dropped riders like former Giro d'Italia winner Damiano Cunego (Lampre) on the way to victory.


Images ©:ASO/Cyclingnews

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