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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 24, Stage 18: Bourg d'Oisans - Saint Étienne 196.5km

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

The Alps are behind us now, but this stage is by no means flat with a third, a second and a fourth...

The Alps are behind us now, but this stage is by no means flat with a third, a second and a fourth category climb to deal with. The course doesn't suit the sprinters, but neither is it tough enough for the climbers and overall contenders, for this reason it has breakaway written all over it. Anyone who has managed to save a bit of energy over the preceding few days will have a go here and in all likelihood the time gap allowed will be enormous providing nobody of any note is in the break.

Bourg d'Oisans has been a stage start time 19 times before, but has never hosted a finish. Sitting as it is at the foot of Alpe d'Huez, it is a natural choice for the next day's stage. The last time a stage started here was in 2006 when the course headed north to another mountaintop finish at La Toussuire. Danish super-climber Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) took the victory alone on his way to taking the polka dot mountain jersey.

Saint Etienne is another regular Tour host, having been a stage town 23 times before, partly because it used to be the centre of the French bicycle industry. Last time the Tour was here it saw Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel) cement his seventh and final Tour de France by taking victory in the final time trial of the 2005 race. That day also saw the tragicomic end to Michael Rasmussen's (Rabobank) hope of a podium place, as a disastrous ride saw him crash twice and change his bike three times.


Images ©:ASO/Cyclingnews

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