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Tour de France 2009

Date range:
July 4-26, 2009
  • Tour de France, France, GT
  • Stages Expand the race menu
    • Stage 1

      Distance:
      15.5km
      Start location:
      Monaco
      End location:
      Monaco (ITT)
    • Stage 2

      Distance:
      187km
      Start location:
      Monaco
      End location:
      Brignoles
    • Stage 3

      Distance:
      196.5km
      Start location:
      Marseille
      End location:
      La Grande-Motte
    • Stage 4

      Distance:
      39km
      Start location:
      Montpellier
      End location:
      Montpellier (TTT)
    • Stage 5

      Distance:
      196.5km
      Start location:
      Le Cap d'Agde
      End location:
      Perpignan
    • Stage 6

      Distance:
      181.5km
      Start location:
      Gérone
      End location:
      Barcelone
    • Stage 7

      Distance:
      224km
      Start location:
      Barcelone
      End location:
      Andorre Arcalis
    • Stage 8

      Distance:
      176.5km
      Start location:
      Andorre-la-Vieille
      End location:
      Saint-Girons
    • Stage 9

      Distance:
      160.5km
      Start location:
      Saint-Gaudens
      End location:
      Tarbes
    • Rest day

      Location
      Limoges
    • Stage 10

      Distance:
      194.5km
      Start location:
      Limoges
      End location:
      Issoudun
    • Stage 11

      Distance:
      192km
      Start location:
      Vatan
      End location:
      Saint-Fargeau
    • Stage 12

      Distance:
      211.5km
      Start location:
      Tonnerre
      End location:
      Vittel
    • Stage 13

      Distance:
      200km
      Start location:
      Vittel
      End location:
      Colmar
    • Stage 14

      Distance:
      199km
      Start location:
      Colmar
      End location:
      Besançon
    • Stage 15

      Distance:
      207.5km
      Start location:
      Pontarlier
      End location:
      Verbier
    • Rest day

      Location
      Verbier
    • Stage 16

      Distance:
      159km
      Start location:
      Martigny
      End location:
      Bourg-Saint-Maurice
    • Stage 17

      Distance:
      169.5km
      Start location:
      Bourg-Saint-Maurice
      End location:
      Le Grand-Bornand
    • Stage 18

      Distance:
      40.5km
      Start location:
      Annecy
      End location:
      Annecy (ITT)
    • Stage 19

      Distance:
      178km
      Start location:
      Bourgoin-Jallieu
      End location:
      Aubenas
    • Stage 20

      Distance:
      167km
      Start location:
      Montélimar
      End location:
      Mont Ventoux
    • Stage 21

      Distance:
      164km
      Start location:
      Montereau-Fault-Yonne
      End location:
      Paris Champs-Élysées
  • Race history

July 21, Stage 16: Martigny - Bourg-Saint-Maurice 159km

By:
Daniel Simms
Published:
June 30, 2009, 11:47 BST,
Updated:
July 22, 2009, 8:35 BST

Brandy not included

Following the second rest day the Tour heads back to France via the northwest corner of Italy. Two mountains are on the programme for today, the Col du Grand-Saint-Bernard (24.4 km at 6.2 percent), which separates Switzerland from Italy, and the Col du Petit-Saint-Bernard (22.6 km at 5.1 percent), from which the riders will descend into France again. In between those two mountains, the bunch will race through the famous Aosta valley.

The thin air on the first of the two climbs located at 2,469 metres above sea level after a gruelling long ascent from the very start of the stage will make life difficult for the riders, especially since they hit the next mountain right afterwards. It is a merciless stage - there will be no time to recover.

The finish in Bourg-Saint-Maurienne comes after a steep descent of the Col du Petit-Saint-Bernard - fast enough to provide the opportunity for time gaps as big as those of an uphill finish. Will the GC riders neutralize each other, as well as riders off the front?

See full-size map and profile.

Vaughters' views

Jonathan Vaughters I’m not a big fan of downhill finishes. I guess it’s easier to have the race finish in a town instead of on top of a mountain, but it’s just a bit dangerous, as guys take big risks to catch back on. Christian Vande Velde lost his chance at a podium spot in the Tour in just such a scenario.

The bitterness of the past aside, this will be a tough day through the Alps, and a screamer of a finish. Whether it will be a breakaway survivor or a GC contender with daredevil skills that wins, I don’t know, but this will be a day. Someone who didn’t quite recover or ride enough on the rest day will lose out. There’s always one guy that doesn’t deal with the rest day too well.

It’ll be interesting to see who reacts to the rest day in what way. Every scenario has its winners and losers.