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le Tour de France, 2010

Map of the Tour de France 2010
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Tour de France 2022

loony day in the mountains - make or break
the end of a generation
2010 tour de france route
the stages for 2010
this year’s t-shirt
the prizes
the teams for 2010
this year’s top ten seeded riders
last year (2009): the first ten riders
the mountain stages





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end notes

loony day in the mountains - make or break

Stage 17, and the Tourmalet is at this moment covered in cloud. That means you can’t see your hand in front of your face. And it’s much colder than the previous 16 stages.

After today, there are only three more stages.

The Tour may well be decided today and there remain several riders capable of going postal and blowing the field away.

The official page, with excruciating detailed stats and links to other pages, can be found here as usual. Click on the “follow the race live” box for running details.

Unless the weather clears, there will be no helicopter pictures from the high Tourmalet, just those from the motor bikes!

Watching TDF broadcasts.

the end of a generation

Age seems to be having a lot of effect. It has also been terrifyingly hot, 37°C and more, which must have a debilitating effect. It looks to me as if the resilience of youth is outweighing the experience of age.

Armstrong [38 y.o.] crashed twice on the cobbles and three times on the eighth stage - he appears to have lost both his stamina and the quick reactions necessary to keep out of trouble.

Cadel Evans [33 y.o.] burnt out badly on stage nine, on the first HC mountain stage. However, one needs to be aware that he was riding with a cracked left elbow - not at all easy, especially on big climbs. In faxt, the Tour seems already to have accumulated a small hospital’s worth of broken bones.

Contador [27 y.o.] appears to be banking on the next against-the-clock to keep Andy Schleck [25 y.o.] away from the top of the final podium.

Last year was a very badly planned Tour, lacking sufficient interest and perhaps on the easy side. This year, the organisers appear to overreacted to giving us a very challenging and almost too interesting programme.

But the real terror of the Tour starts on Sunday the 18th, in the Pyrenees where the stages of four days move from ghastly to ghastlier. Glory knows how they will survive if this heat continues [today, the15th, there are reports of 46°C], though they do have a rest day on the Wednesday before being faced with the second, yes a second, ascent of the classic Tourmalet pyramid:

“Abandon hope, all ye who enter here”.

2010 tour de france route

Route of the 2010 Tour de France

Watching Tour de France broadcasts

The 2010 Tour de France will start at Rotterdam with a short individual against-the-clock through eight kilometres of the city home to the biggest port in Europe. The next day, the Tour races from the Netherlands to Belgium, then from Belgium to France;

The third stage, from Belgium to France, Wanze-Arenberg to Porte du Hainaut, will have 13.2 km of cobbled (pavé) road, with three sections in Belgium (2.2km) and a further four in France (11km). Anyone who has watched the annual Paris-Roubaix race will appreciate what a bone-shaking experience it is. Mind you, for the Tour de France it should be somewhat easier, the race being in warm and probably dry summer, instead of the wet and wild Easter.

The 2010 race will include nine stages on the flat, six mountain stages with three finishes on a summit and one individual against-the clock of 51 km. There will be two rest days and twenty-three climbs of either category 2, cat. 1 or hors catégorie (unclassifiable).

The famous, and often dreaded, Col du Tourmalet will feature twice, once as the Tour goes over it, and the next day when the stage will end at its 2115 metre summit.

It is clear that the global financial crisis has hit the Tour de France, with the number of expensive high mountain stages reduced, one even being used twice, and only one real against-the-clock stage, and no team time trial stage. Instead, the organisers are trying to offer other cycling excitement with seven sections of cobbled road and twice using the daunting Col de Tourmalet, including for a stage finish. A further novelty, unusually for the Tour de France, there will be more mountain stages in the Pyrénees than the Alps.

the stages for 2010

There will be a prologue [short opening stage] and 20 stages, with six mountain stages [Alps 2, Pyrenees 4], two medium mountain stages, and one individual against-the-clock [contre-le-montre] time trial. The first day’s prologue is also a short individual against-the-clock [contre-le-montre] time trial. There are 2 rest days. All other days are ‘on the plain’ - relatively flat days, almost touring through France. The total distance ridden will be about 3,600 kilometres, or roughly 2 237 miles.

P Rotterdam > Rotterdam
3 July [8 km]
prologue time-trial
11 Sisteron > Bourg-lès-Valence
15 July [180 km]
1 Rotterdam > Bruxelles
4 July [224 km]
12 Bourg-de-Péage > Mende
16 July [210 km]
2 Bruxelles > Spa
5 July [192 km]
13 Rodez > Revel
17 July [195 km]
3 Wanze > Arenberg Porte du Hainaut
6 July [207 km]
14 Revel > Ax-3 Domaines
18 July [184 km]
4 Cambrai > Reims
7 July [150 km]
15 Pamiers > Bagnères-de-Luchon
19 July [187 km]
5 Épernay > Montargis
8 July [185 km]

Bagnères-de-Luchon > Pau
20July [196km]

6 Montargis > Gueugnon
9 July [225 km]
R 21 July - rest day
7 Tournus > Station des Rousses
10 July [161 km]
17 Pau > Col du Tourmalet
22 July [174 km]
8 Station des Rousses > Morzine-Avoriaz
11 July [189 km]
18 Salies-de-Béarn > Bordeaux
23 July [190 km]
R 12 July - rest day
19 Bordeaux > Pauillac
24 July [51 km]
individual time-trial
9 Morzine-Avoriaz > Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne 13 July [204 km] 20 Longjumeau > Paris Champs-Élysées
25 July [105 km]
10 Chambéry > Gap
14 July [179 km]
Detailed itineraries for the 2010 Tour de France stages

Le Tour regulations (in French)


this year’s t-shirt

official Tour 2010 t-shirt

The sales blurb (translated):
“In Rotterdam, between the Rhine and Meuse, the Tour will start with its feet in water for the third time in a row. After Brest and the Atlantic, the Principality of Monaco and the Mediterranean, there is the North Sea, which the crossing of Zeeland will give us ample time to admire. From July, the popular enthusiasm and jubilation born of this event will colour the 2010 edition of the Tour de France! :
“100% cotton 20€”

the prizes

  • The winner of a day’s stage wins 8,000 €
  • Team against-the-clock : 10,000 € per team member
  • The yellow jersey winner - fastest time overall in the general time classification: 450,000 €
  • The green jersey winner - winning the most points. Points are given to winners of intermediate and the final sprint on each stage: 25,000 €
  • The spotted jersey winner - best mountain climber, winning mountain points when going over summits and intermediate difficulties: 25,000 €
  • The white jersey winner - best under 25 y.o. in the general time classification: 20,000 €.
  • Combativity prize - chosen by a specialist cycling jury: 20,000 €
  • Best team by time - lowest time after adding together the times of the three best members of each team at each stage: 50,000 €.]
  • 2011: Mountain stage points have been reduced. Only summit finishes give double points [stages 12, 14, 18 and 19]. The first six riders will receive points. If the climb is classed out of classification [hors catégorie] or first category, the first six receive points; for a 2nd category climb, the first four receive points; for 3rd category, the first two receive points; for 4th category, the first rider only will receive points.
  • 2011: Sprinter points have been increased. As well as more final sprint points [45 points], for the one intermediary sprint, there are points for the first 15, with 20 points for the first rider.
    [Previous points allocations for best sprinter and best climber.]

For more on the tactics of racing in the Tour de France.

the teams for 2010

Team maillots for the Tour de France 2010

The twenty-two teams that have been invited to participate in this year’s Grand Boucle [Great Loop] are:

Quick-step (QST)
Omega Pharma-Lotto (SIL)

Team Saxo Bank (SAX)

AG2R-La Mondiale (ALM)
BBox Bouygues Telecom (BBO)
Cofidis, le Crédit en ligne (COF)
Française Des Jeux (FDJ)
4/7/2010: name changed to FDJ, and the maillot as well!

Team Milram (MRM)

Team Sky (SKY)

Lampre (LAM)
Liquigas (LIQ)

Astana (AST)

Rabobank (RAB)

Katusha Team (KAT)

Caisse d’Epargne (GCE)
Euskaltel-Euskadi (EUS)
Footon-Servetto-Fuji (FOT)

Cervélo Test Team (CTT)

Team HTC-Columbia (THR)
Garmin-Transitions (GRM)
Team RadioShack (RSH)
BMC Racing Team (BMC)

From 2011, under the agreement between the organisers of the Grand Tours and the Union Cycliste Internationale, the first 17 teams in the world rankings established in late 2010, according to the performance of sports teams, will be selected automatically. Other sports groups will receive wild cards issued by the organisers.


new! Cathedrale Saint-Gatien at Tours  Cathedrale Saint-Gatien at Tours

Romanesque churches and cathedrals in south-west France updated: Romanesque churches and cathedrals in south-west France

 the perpendicular or English style of cathedral  Manchester cathedral

the fire at the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris
the fire at the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris
cathedral giants - Amiens and Beauvais

Stone tracery in church and cathedral construction illustrated
stone in church and cathedral construction

stained glass and cathedrals in Normandy illustrated graph

fortified churches, mostly in Les Landes

cathedral labyrinths and mazes in France
using metal in gothic cathedral construction

Germans in France
cathedral destruction during the French revolution, subsidiary page to Germans in France

Click for an introduction to cathedrals and stained glass in France.

on first arriving in France - driving
France is not England
paying at the péage (toll station)

Click for motorways and motorway aires in France.

Transbordeur bridges in France and the world 2: focus on Portugalete, Chicago, Rochefort-Martrou
Gustave Eiffel’s first work: the Eiffel passerelle, Bordeaux
a fifth bridge coming to Bordeaux: pont Chaban-Delmas, a new vertical lift bridge

France’s western isles: Ile de Ré
France’s western iles: Ile d’Oleron

Ile de France, Paris: in the context of Abelard and of French cathedrals
short biography of Pierre (Peter) Abelard

Marianne - a French national symbol, with French definitive stamps

la Belle Epoque
Grand Palais, Paris

Click to go to pages about Art Deco at abelard.org

Click to go to 'the highest, longest: the viaduct de Millau'

Pic du Midi - observing stars clearly, A64
Carcassonne, A61: world heritage fortified city

Space City, Toulouse

the French umbrella & Aurillac

50 years old: Citroën DS
the Citroën 2CV: a French motoring icon

the forest as seen by Francois Mauriac, and today
Les Landes, places and playtime
roundabout art of Les Landes

Hermès scarves

Hèrmes logo

bastide towns
mardi gras! carnival in Basque country
country life in France: the poultry fair

what a hair cut! m & french pop/rock

Tour de France 2023s

Le Tour de France: cycling tactics illustrated

New translation, the Magna Carta

this year’s top ten seeded riders [alphabetical list]

Name Team Nat. Comments
Lance Armstrong RSH USA 38 years old. Won the TDF seven times.
Ivan Basso LIQ ITA 32 y.o. Returning to the TDF after 4 year’s doping-related absence. 4th in the Italian Giro and the Spanish Vuelta last year.
Alberto Contador AST ESP 27 y.o. TDF winner in 2007 and 2009, including the sole 2009 TDF against-the-clock.
Cadel Evans BMC AUS 33 y.o. 2nd in the 2007 and 2008 TDF; 30th in the 2009 TDF, but 3rd in 2009 Vuelta [Spain].
Denis Menchov RAB RUS 33 y.o. Twice winner of the Spanish Vuelta (2005 and 2007), previous winner of the Giro [Italy], his best place in the TDF was 3rd in 2008.
Samuel Sanchez EUS ESP 32 y.o. Road Olympic champion. 6th in the TDF in 2008, finished 3rd in 2007 and 2nd in 2009 on the Spanish Vuelta.
Carlos Sastre CTT ESP 35 y.o. Winner TDF 2008, twice stage winner in 2009 Giro [Italy].
Andy Schleck GRM LUX 25 y.o. 2nd in 2009 TDF, best under 25 in TDF 2008 and 2009.
Christian Vande Velde GRM USA 34 y.o. 4th in 2008 TDF.
Bradley Wiggins SKY GBR 30 y.o. Olympic champion. 4th in 2009 TDF.

last year (2009): the first ten riders

Pos. Name First name Team Nat. Time diff.
1 21 CONTADOR Alberto AST ESP 85h 48' 35"
2 31 SCHLECK Andy SAX LUX + 04' 11"
3 22 ARMSTRONG Lance AST USA + 05' 24"
4 58 WIGGINS Bradley GRM GBR + 06' 01"
5 36 SCHLECK Frank SAX LUX + 06' 04"
6 23 KLODEN Andréas AST GER + 06' 42"
7 95 NIBALI Vincenzo LIQ ITA + 07' 35"
8 51 VALVERDE Christian GRM USA + 12' 04"
9 93 KREUZIGER Roman LIQ CZE + 14' 16"
10 106 LE MEVEL Christophe FDJ FRA + 14' 25"
CONTADOR Alberto 21 AST ESP 85h 48' 35" (Yellow Jersey)
By points HUSHOVD Thor 6 CTT NOR 280 pts (Green Jersey)
Climber PELLIZOTTI Franco 91 LIQ ITA 210 pts (Polka dot Jersey)
Under 25 SCHLECK Andy 31 CSC LUX 88h 04' 24" (White Jersey)
Combativity PELLIZOTTI Franco 91 LIQ ITA  
ASTANA KAZ 256h 02' 58"

the mountain stages

This year, there will be 23 mountain passes or summit finishes classified level one, level two and highest level
1 in the Jura, 8 in the Alps, 2 in the Cévennes and 12 in the Pyrenees.

Jura and the Alps

Stages in the Alps

Cévennes and the Pyrenees

Stages in the Pyrenees

end notes

  1. Rotterdam
    Located to the south of Holland (the Netherlands) near the North Sea, at the shared river mouths of the Rhine and the Maas, Rotterdam has 600, 000 inhabitants and more than one million for the entire metropolitan area.

    The second largest city after Amsterdam, the Netherland’s capital, is the largest port in Europe and one of the largest in the world. An industrial and commercial and financial centre, and headquarters of the Erasmus University, Rotterdam was founded in the twelfth century near a dam on the Rotte river which gave its name to the city.

    Destroyed in 1940 at the beginning of the Second World War, the city was rebuilt, and giving the city its modern character.

    Events in Rotterdam at the time of the 2010 Tour de France:
    Wednesday, 30 June: Opening of a vast complex of conference halls and exhibition halls at Ahoy Rotterdam, to the south of the city.
    Thursday, 1 July: presentation of the Tour de France 2010 teams.
    Saturday, 3 July: Departure and arrival of the TDF first stage near Ahoy Rotterdam.
    Sunday, 4 July: start of the TDF second stage at De Heuvelpark.

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