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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 25, Stage 20: Montélimar - Mont Ventoux 167km

By:
Daniel Simms
Published:
June 30, 2009, 11:47 BST,
Updated:
July 22, 2009, 8:34 BST

Final showdown on legendary Ventoux

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to this year's Tour de France showdown, the third mountain top finish of the 96th edition and the all-decisive one. Some of the Tour's most legendary chapters - both the glorious and the tragic ones - were written on the slopes of the dreaded 'bald mountain', the Mont Ventoux. This year, the giant of Provence has been placed on the route just 24 hours prior to the final coronation on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, and is going to be the ultimate cycling spectacle.

Coming from Montélimar, the bunch will pass through olive country near Nyons and hit the hilly hinterland of the mountain from its Northern side. A loop eastwards will then see the riders tackle the non-classified Col de Notre-Dame des Abeilles before they hit the final climb from its traditional, most difficult side starting in Bédoin.

Whoever is wearing the yellow jersey will have to defend his lead to the teeth, constantly attacked by his closest challengers. The 21.2 kilometres averaging 7.6 percent gradient promise to be epic, as anyone can still win - or lose - the 2009 Tour de France today. In the midst of the rocky white moon-like scenery of the Ventoux, strengths and weaknesses are laid bare.

See full-size map and profile.

Vaughters' views

Jonathan Vaughters The big show: On what will probably be a scorching hot day, this will decide it all.

Ventoux is often ascended, but rarely this late in the race. It will add a whole new dynamic of fatigue.

If Contador has the jersey here, its hard to see him losing it, but on a hot day, late in the race, you can never tell.

For the stage win, I’d look for a rider who is a bit out of touch on GC and is given a bit of rope early on the climb - the same way Valverde won in the Dauphine.

Who’s that rider? Well, I guess I hope Christian Vande Velde is back to top form by then, and pulls off the win of his life. That wish aside, Contador seems like a likely candidate, along with another guy I haven’t spoken much of, but will be there for sure, Andy Schleck.