Cheap Frills: La Braderie de St Tropez
Estérel: Hiking the Cap-Roux

Tour de France 2009: Princely Start in Monaco

Tour de FranceDetails on the 96th edition of the Tour De France went public yesterday with
Christian Prudhomme and Prince Albert II of Monaco announcing the Tour de France 2009 map and innovations.

For 2009, the Tour de France starts from Monaco on Saturday, July 4th. It will run to Sunday July 26th 2009, and include 21 stages covering 3,500 kilometers in total.

Lance Armstrong: Photo byBeth Schneider What does Lance Armstrong think about the 2009 TdF?

"The route of the 2009 Tour de France strikes me as innovative and very interesting," Armstrong responded to AFP reporters yesterday. Will he be part of the great 2009 Astana team riders? Dunno yet.

Monaco Can I stay stay right in Monaco on July 4 and 5?

If you're reading this early enough, yes. Reserve far ahead of July. Monaco expects 100% occupancy the night of the Tour.

Can I enter the Principality of Monaco by car on July 4th and 5th?

Yes, they say. No, we say. If you must, try the southern area of the principality by Cap d'Ail and Fontvieille.  But I would bet on serious jam-packing so let your feet do the traveling in Monaco that day as much as possible.

Speeding Countryside: Photo by Zimbio Will the 2009 Tour de France cross through Provence and the French Riviera?

On July 4th, the cyclists start and stop in Monaco at the Port Hercule.

On July 5th, the cyclists will pedal across the French Riviera preferring the rolling hills to the seaside. They'll zoom from Monaco to Cagnes-sur-Mer to Grasse by Fayence to Draguignan then through the vineyard hills of Lorgues to end the day in Brignoles.

The Monaco-Brignoles leg will stretch for 182 km through an area that makes for a fine tour of the Riviera's backcountry. But at about 40 km/hour on average (2008 winner average = 40.50 km/hr), competitors won't see much other than blurred countryside. But spectators will be sure to enjoy lots of folks out in the streets and plenty of local cheer in restaurants and pubs.

When is the leg up killer mountain Mont Ventoux?

The tour heads up Mont Ventoux on Saturday, July 25th, the day before the grand finale arrival at the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

TdF: TGIF in Paris Where can I find out more about the 2009 Tour de France?

Details on

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