After Monaco and Marseille, the 2009 Tour visits a third 'great beacon' of the Mediterranean, Barcelona. The Spanish capital of Catalonia, the southernmost destination in Tour history, has hosted the Tour de France twice in the past. This year, the peloton will come from Girona, a small Spanish town which became famous in the cycling community when Lance Armstrong made it his Spanish home. The ride over the rugged coastal hills of the Costa Brava will surely see a breakaway go clear.
In the city of famous architect Antoni Gaudi, crowds will be huge and Spanish riders may be particularly eager to break away from the peloton on the uphill finish at the Montjuic mountain, which hosts the Escalada a Montjuic each year in October. Look for a strong puncher to finish the stage in style.