Even if the Tour de France skips the epic ascent to Alpe d'Huez this year, fans of the mythical mountain will still be able to watch the best riders of the world climb the 21 hairpins after organisers of the Dauphiné Libéré announced the race's route this week.
The 62nd Dauphiné, now also firmly in the hands of Tour organiser ASO, will take place from June 6 to 13 and include eight stages for a total distance of approximately 1,080 kilometres.
After the prologue in Evian-les-Bains on the shores of Lake Geneva, the race will head southwest through the Rhone valley into Provence, where a 49 kilometre individual time trial from Sorgues to Monteux on June 9 will provide a first order of importance on general classification.
After that, the race leads northeast back into the Alps, where the ascent up the slopes of Alpe d'Huez will almost certainly decide the overall winner. Often used as final preparation race for the Tour de France, the Dauphiné is certain to attract the peloton's top performers once again this year.
While not all of the stages' distances are available yet, the 2010 Dauphiné route is as follows:
June 6: Prologue Evian-les-Bains - Evian-les-Bains
June 7: Evian-les-Bains - Saint-Laurent-du-Pont
June 8: Annonay - Bourg-Saint-Andéol
June 9: Monteux - Sorgues (49 km)
June 10: Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux - Risoul (212 km)
June 11: Serre-Chevalier - Grenoble
June 12: Crolles - Alpe-d'Huez
June 13: Allevard-les-Bains - Sallanches