Friday, 21 September 2012
2013 Tour de France: Mark Cavendish to win stage in Tours?
Although the route of the 2013 edition of the Tour de France is not due to be announced until 24th October, La Nouvelle République is predicting that Tours will host a stage finish during the second week (11th July) of the Tour as the race makes its way from the Pyrenées to the Alps. The following day (12th) the Tour will set off from Tours and head eastwards to Saint-Amand-Montrond, very close to the centre of France. If the NR's predictions are correct it would seem that the outcome of the 2013 Tour, which will start in Corsica, will be determined in the Alps.
Although there are some lumpy short hills to the south of Tours (used for the Paris-Tours autumnal classic), it is likely that Mark Cavendish will pencil Tours in as a potential stage win as the finish on the Avenue de Grammont is one of the most famous finishes in France even though its full glory has been truncated by the new tramway.
In 2005 Tom Boonen was the last rider to win a stage in Tours. Previous winners include Dutchman Leon Van Bon when in 2000 he was the fastest of a 12-man breakway. In 1992, during the Miguel Indurain years, Thierry Marie won a mass sprint here.
The flattish stage eastwards across to Saint-Amand-Montrond should also suit Cavendish and the other sprinters.
Jim's Loire racked up another significant milestone when we passed the 500,000 visit mark. Although the sitemeter now registers just short of 497,000, the actually total is now 500,283 as around 3000 visits were lost when sitemeter changed provider at the beginning of August 2012.