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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 10, Stage 7: Barcelone - Andorre Arcalis 224km

By:
Daniel Simms
Published:
June 30, 2009, 11:08 BST,
Updated:
July 21, 2009, 14:34 BST

Contador to take control?

Here we go: the first mountain stage of this year's Tour de France. For all 224 kilometres of today's ride, the roads will be uphill - save for the descent of the first of the two climbs, the Port d'Oliana, a 7.7km-mountain averaging 7.1 percent gradient. Afterwards, it will be a long drag up to the tiny Principality of Andorra and its ski station, the first of three mountain top finishes of this year's Tour.

The last time the Tour came to Arcalis, in 1997, Jan Ullrich broke away solo on the final stretch to the summit (10.6km at 7.1 percent) and lay the foundations for his later overall win. Today, the GC favourites should come out of their hiding places in the pack and put their climbing legs to the test. Spanish climbers will be especially motivated to score the victory in a bid for the polkadot - or the yellow jersey.

Vaughters' views

Jonathan VaughtersOuch. 224 km up to Arcalis. This is the day that will start the Tour proper.

It’s a painful grind through the tough and hot Catalan countryside, finishing with the climb where Ullrich decimated the field in 1997.

Arcalis is not an overly steep climb, but the kilometers before its start and the heat will lend themselves to a selective day. Steepest at the bottom, look for an elite selection very quickly on Arcalis, and then attacks, chasing and hesitation a bit further up.

Sastre, Contador, Andy Schleck and Evans should all be in the mix. Sometimes Menchov suffers in the heat, so this could be a hard day for him.

All said and done, I have to say I think Contador is the favourite, once again.