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Video: Tour de France key climbs

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Hurting on the col d'Izoard

Hurting on the col d'Izoard (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The beautiful view from atop the Col du Tourmalet summit.

The beautiful view from atop the Col du Tourmalet summit. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The Port de Balès was only recently surfaced

The Port de Balès was only recently surfaced (Image credit: Ben Atkins)
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The profile of the climb to Hautacam on stage 18

The profile of the climb to Hautacam on stage 18 (Image credit: ASO)
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George Hincapie takes his sole Tour de France stage win on the Pla d'Adet in the 2005 Tour de France.

George Hincapie takes his sole Tour de France stage win on the Pla d'Adet in the 2005 Tour de France. (Image credit: AFP Photo)

The saying of the Tour de France always goes: "the race doesn't start until the mountains". While there are plenty of ascents prior to the stage 8 finish at the La Mauselaine ski station in Gérardmer, where the first big test of the general classification contenders lies, it is what comes after this stage that will really separate the climbers.

A summit finish follows on stage 10 at La Planche des Belles Filles, again in Chamrousse on stage 13 and stage 14 in Risoul. The race then heads into the Pyrenees for a difficult last week.

But it is not just the final climbs that can decide the general classification. There are some very tough climbs in the middle of stages that can make or break a rider, leaving him on the back foot heading into the stage finale.

Cyclingnews lists five key climbs of this year's Tour de France in this video.

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