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Change in the Tour de France 2008 track: two stages will start from Embrun

Added: thursday 10 April 2008 at 22:47:00
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    Change in the Tour de France 2008 track: two stages will start from EmbrunThe 15th stage of the Tour de France 2008 from Digne-les-Bains to Prato Nevoso would normally have taken the Col de Larche on Sunday July 20th to arrive in Italy. This mountain has now however become the reason behind a change in the track and in the start city of this French/Italian stage.

    After the change of the Tour de France map it's now up to the track of the 95th Tour de France to be changed while there are ... less than three months left before the Grand Départ from Brest!
    In March 2001 a part of this mountain collapsed and that has been the reason behind a local regulation which says this mountain is forbidden for cyclists and pedestrians. Furthermore, an automatic surveillance system has been installed which can automatically close the road when there's a new collapse. Of course this problem was well known since a long time now: the Tour organiser, the department's services (Conseil général and delegates of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department), the préfecture, police and emergency services were working together to take some specific security measures. However, they did not think about someone in the Ministry of Internal Affairs which has decided from his office in Paris to give a negative advice and thus make it impossible to go over this mountain.

    The security measures which were planned to be taken were to empty the mountain's security meshes, to check the alerting system and to check several places where an animal could have started a landslide. Furthermore, the advertising caravan would have been obliged to ride in a group and without any sound over this part of the stage and in case of any problems the race and the timing would have been stopped to start again with the same time differences after the dangerous part (like in one of the Paris-Nice stages this year when a strike by employees of a local factory was the reason to temporarily stop the race).

    The stage's track has been changed, a mountain which has never been part of the Tour before and two stage starts in Embrun

    the 15th Tour de France stage will finally not start from Digne-les-Bains
    To prevent any further risk the Tour organiser decided to modify the track of the 15th stage which will thus start from Embrun and still go to Prato Nevoso in Italy with a distance of about 185 kilometers (about 30 kilometers less than initially planned). Embrun, which has never been a Tour start or finish city before, will thus not only get one stage start but two (two for the price of one because the city still pays "only" 50.000 euros) with 3 days between the two stages: indeed, the stage on Wednesday 23 July will not change and connects Embrun with Alpe d'Huez.

    With this change in start city the track of the stage will of course also be adapted and the Col Agnel will replace the Col de Larche. This mountain, 21 kilometers long with an average rise of 6,5% and with its highest point at 2744 meters, has never been part of the Tour de France before! However, the riders will not be completely lost because they'll probably recognise some points during their descent of the Tour of Italy since the Giro has had several stage finished on this mountain.

    The Tour de France 2008 track in Google Earth

    Of course I have updated the Tour de France track in Google Earth which you can find at the end of my blog post which is completely dedicated to it.

    More information

    For more information you can check the following articles:
    - the Tour de France press release about this change in the Tour 2008 track
    - the article "Inquiétudes sur le Tour de France" in the Dauphiné Libéré (3 April 2008)
    - the article "Le Tour de France toujours en suspens" in the Dauphiné Libéré (4 April 2008)
    - and finally the article "Changement de parcours dans les Alpes du Sud" in the Dauphiné Libéré (9 April 2008)

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Tour de France| Tour de France 2008 | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati


Currently 4 comments!
  1. Maintenant je comprends mieux le changement de parcours ,car je n avais pas encore lu ton article !!!Ca m apprendra !!C est a cause de risque d éboulements ,et bien ils ont bien fait ,autant limiter les risques .Dans le Vercors pas loin de chez moi il y a eu des éboulements mortels sur des voitures ces dernères années .Bonne journée a+ Thomas

    | Liserois | tuesday 15 April 2008 at 06:57:08

  2. Oui, effectivement, c'était le plus sage de limiter les risques ! Par contre, ce qu'il faut savoir c'est qu'à la base ces risques étaient bien évidemment connus et tout le monde travaillait sur des solutions temporaires limitant ces risques mais permettant quand même le passage sur place.
    La solution qui a été trouvée maintenant promettra quand même une très belle étape, seulement ce qui est dommage c'est que le Tour ne pourra donc jamais passer dans ce coin des Alpes à cause de ce genre de problèmes :-(.

    à bientôt !

    | Thomas Vergouwen | tuesday 15 April 2008 at 23:53:58

  3. quand je pense que ce col est ouvert malgre les risques etqu'il a meme ete emprunte par les camions de l'organisatiol dans les 2sens

    | aubertin gerald | friday 12 June 2009 at 00:28:40

  4. Plus que 22 jours , mais quelle tristesse le blog de Liserois va disparaitre et avec lui tout les contacts avec les amis (es) Pas de panneau alors cette année !!!! BOUHHHH ! C EST INJUSTE C EST BEAUCOUP TROP INJUSTE !!! Amitiée Christian

    | LISEROIS | friday 12 June 2009 at 06:51:09

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