>Mister Stephen managed to get the lovely Miss Caron to watch some of this year’s Tour de France. It is a little cold outside to day so what better way to warm my paws up than to think of the sunny climes of France in July when the Grand Tour is almost exclusively within France itself. For Caron and others here is a preview of the route.

Last year the race was decided on the climb of Mont Ventoux and even Miss Caron was enjoying the spectacle and acheivement as the top five in the General Classifiacation of last year launched attack after attack on that famous climb. The race last year also started straight into a stage but 2010 will see the Prologue return as the peleton race mano a mano against the clock around Rotterdam.
Stage Two includes a reverse approach of the Rosier Climb from the Liege-Baston-Liege Classic, before ending up in Spa. Two Formula One locations in two years the Tour organisers are spoiling us cross-over fans. The following stage and the entry into France will see an astonishing 13.2 km over cobbles, hopefully not enough to stop Mark Cavendish looking for what may very well be his second or third stage win of the race if he keeps up his form of last season.

The Alps appear first in this years Tour with only two days of high mountains separated by a rest day so don’t expect to race to be decided as we leave the alps on Bastille Day with the run from Chambéry to Gap.

So expect the race to heat up in the Pyrenees, where there are three consecutive days of racing from 18-20, then the climb to the top of the classic Col de Tourmalet after the rest day in Pau it what looks set to be the highest Pyrenees passes second Mountain top finish.

If it is still tight at the top of the Col it may well come down after the long run into Bordeaux with the only time trail apart from the prologue on next years tour at Paulliac on the penultimate day. Then after the overnight transfer into the heart of the country from the coast it will be run up to the arrival on the Champs d’Elysée on the 25th of July.

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