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Tour de France 2008: first rumours about stage details

Added: thursday 04 October 2007 at 21:15:00
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    Tour de France 2008: first rumours about stage details

    This article is maintained in its current state and no longer being updated; I recommend you consult my article about the official stage details of the Tour de France 2008


    In exactly 3 weeks (on Thursday October 25th, the last Thursday in October) the stage details and the theme of the Tour de France 2008 will be presented in the Palais des Congrès in Paris.
    For the first two stages the start and finish cities have been announced by A.S.O. on January 25th. The start city for the third stage was also announced that day.

    So for the next three weeks, apart from the final finish on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, the details of the other stages should still be secret, so what you'll read here is mostly based on rumours ... which might well become truth ...

    UPDATE 12 October 2007: additional details for July 20 till 23, 2008, overview of stages and a map
    UPDATE 14 October 2007: added information on Pyrénées stages
    UPDATE 15 October 2007: added finish for the stage Cuneo > Alpe d'Huez :-) and start for the stage Roanne > Montluçon
    UPDATE 20 October 2007: several updates based on combined information from different sources + added detailed stage tracks for the first two stages + update of the interactive map
    UPDATE 21 October 2007: information on Alp stages completed and updated
    UPDATE 22 October 2007: added potential start for the last stage to Paris + finish Prato Nevoso

    The Tour de France 2008 will start on July 5th, 2008 in Brest and will finish in Paris on July 27th.

    The 'Grand Départ' in Brittany

    © the Brittany regionThis year for the first time it will not be a city which will organise the 'Grand Départ' of the Tour de France (like Strasbourg in 2006, London in 2007 and Monaco in 2009) but a whole region, Brittany.

    The stage details in Brittany - © Société du Tour de FranceThis is also said to be one of the reasons of not having a prologue in the Tour de France 2008 which will directly start with a regular stage which will connect two Breton cities and will go through a big part of this region. Brittany would have wanted this Tour start to be a party for the whole region and that was of course incompatible with a time trial prologue in the center of the start city (Brest). In the three Breton stages together the riders will see 500 kilometers of Breton roads!
    Of course A.S.O. (Jean-François Pescheux - directeur des courses - , Christian Prudhomme - director of the Tour de France - and Bernard Hinault, ...) explain that not having a prologue is a wished change which will add something original and more excitement and suspense to the start of the Tour since any rider could win this first stage and start the Tour de France in the yellow jersey.
    Marc Madiot, manager of the Française des Jeux team, said about this: this choice leaves all scenarios possible. That must be the organiser's goal, at least that's what I think ....

    While for London the Tour start in 2007 was a first, this is definitely not the case for Brittany or for Brest. It will actually be the sixth time the Tour de France starts in Brittany and the thirs time from Brest (1952 - first start in Brittany, 1974 and now 2008). The other Tour starts in Brittany were in Rennes in 1964, Plumelec (prologue) and Vannes (first stage) in 1985 and Saint-Brieuc (prologue) and Dinan (first stage) in 1995.
    Besides these starts there have been many other Tour de France stage which passed through Brittany, the first one being in Rennes in 1905. Brest is the most often visited start or finish city in Brittany: in 2008 it will be the 29th time.

    With four Breton Tour winners in the Tour history (Lucien Petit-Breton, whose real name was Lucien Mazan, in 1907 and 1908, Jean Robic who took the yellow jersey only at the end of the last stage in 1947, Louison Bobet in 1953, 1954 and 1955 and finally Bernard Hinault in 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1985) and many Breton supporters for all Tour de France stages (I even lost the count of the number of Breton flags I saw during the Tour de France 2007), it seems to be normal for the Tour de France to be back with a 'Grand Départ' after 13 years without it in Brittany. I think there will be many people along the tracks of the different stages!

    First stage - Brest > Plumelec, Saturday 5 July 2008

    Monts d Arrée - Roc h Trévezel - S.MöllerThe first stage of this 95th Tour de France will start in Brest in the Finistère and will finish in Plumelec in the Morbihan. As mentioned before, for the first time in 1967, this will not be a prologue but a regular first stage. Passing over the Monts d'Arrée, this first stage will probably be around 200 kilometers.
    The Monts d'Arrée are part of the massif armoricain and have Roc'h Ruz as their highest point at 385 meters. This region is said to have the same kind of scenery as Ireland or Wales. The biggest atlantic heath land of France can be found here (over 10.000 hectares).
    On 18 and 19 October, the Le Télégramme newspaper published the precise track of the first and part of the second stage. This information has been integrated in the interactive map and here's the track for the first stage: after the start in Brest the riders will take the pont Albert-Louppe to go to Loperhet followed by Daoulas, L'Hôpital-Camfrout, Le Faou, Quimerch, Brasparts, Plonévez-du-Faou, Châteauneuf-du-Faou, Spézet and the col de Toull-al-Laëron in the Finistère and before going further to Gourin and Plouray, Guémené-sur-Scorff, Pluméliau, Remungol, Locminé, Bignan, Saint-Jean-Brévelay, Plaudren and finally Plumelec with the côte de Cadoudal where the stage finish is planned at around 5PM. The stage's length would be 195,5 km.

    Second stage - Auray > Saint-Brieuc, Sunday 6 July 2008

    Mûr-de-Bretagne during the Tour de France 2006 - © Concours de DécorationConnecting Auray in the Morbihan with Saint-Brieuc in the Côtes d'Armor, this stage will have a hilly track with the Mûr-de-Bretagne (a 1,6 km hill at 7,5%), also visited during the Tour de France 2004 and 2006, as a nice bonus.
    I think even more people will be on the road during this stage! In 2006 it was very crowdy!!

    > Click here to see a very nice picture of Mûr-de-Bretagne during the Tour de France 2006

    Again according to the information in the Le Télégramme newspaper this stage - with a total length of 170 km - would be as follows: start in Auray going to Landaul, Pluvigner, Camors, Baud, Pont-Augan, Bubry, Melrand, Boderel, Guern, Le Sourn, Pontivy, Neulliac and Saint-Jean in Côtes-d'Armor. The stage would continue to Saint-Brieuc, its finish.

    Third stage - Saint-Malo > Nantes, Monday 7 July 2008

    For this stage only two things are for sure now: the stage will start in Saint-Malo and it will go southwards while crossing through the Ille-et-Vilaine department ...

    While going through the Ille-et-Vilaine it is well possible to pass through or close to Rennes and at the end of the department the first big city is Nantes, so this could well be the finish city of the third stage of the Tour de France 2008 (this would mean that the stage would have the same start and finish cities as the 9th stage in the Tour de France 1980 ; won by Jan Raas from The Netherlands).

    According to Cyclismag the newspaper Ouest France would also have mentioned Nantes as the finish city of this third stage.

    In this scenario, the stage would do somewhere between 205 and 230 kilometers.

    The other stages

    Tuesday 8 July, the fourth stage

    Also according to Cyclismag this stage would start in Vallet in Loire-Atlantique.
    According to La Nouvelle République the finish city of this stage could be Châteauroux.
    The start from Vallet would have been cancelled and this stage could thus well become Cholet > Châteauroux, but that would then be one day later; this day would become a team time trial around Cholet.

    Wednesday 9 July, the fifth stage

    According to the information on Wikipedia and from La Nouvelle République this stage would start in Châteauroux or in La Châtre (about 40 km south-east from Châteauroux). This will thus probably be La Châtre after a finish the day before in Châteauroux.

    According to these same sources the finish city of the 5th stage could be the beautiful city Limoges (cf. the many nice pictures in the Wikipedia entry).

    According to the Le Populaire du Centre newspaper, the hotels are indeed fully booked in that period, but despite that it is very well possible that the stage won't finish in Limoges but in Super-Besse and one day later, after the stage Cholet > Châteauroux

    On Wikipedia, Châteauroux was first mentioned as the finish city of the 5th stage by someone living close to Dijon on 15 September before being mentioned as one of the two possible start cities for this stage by someone working at the Journal La Montagne newspaper on 20 September.

    Thursday 10 July, the sixth stage - a time trial?!

    Again according to the information on Wikipedia written by the employee of the Journal La Montagne, this would be a time trial at the Lac de Vassivière (at about 60 km east of Limoges).

    This could however well become a stage La Châtre > Super-Besse (see above).

    Friday 11 July, the seventh stage

    The same source mentions Aurillac as the finish city of the seventh stage and hotels in the Cantal department would have confirmed this. No information is available on the start city, but if the finish in Super-Besse on the day before gets confirmed, that could well be Besse.

    Going to the Pyrénées

    The Tour then continues towards the Pyrénées, probably with a stage going from Toulouse to Bagnères-de-Bigorre (via the col de Peyresourde and the col d'Aspin) followed by a rest day in Pau on 13 July, but that could also be a stage Aurillac > Montauban followed by Toulouse > Bagnères-de-Bigorre, pushing the rest day to July 15th and removing the finish and start in Perpignan.
    14 July would be the stage Pau > Hautacam via the col du Tourmalet, followed by the stage Lannemezan > Foix on 15 July. 16 July the stage would start in Lavelanet. There were rumours about a finish in Ax-3-Domaines for this stage, but it seems that that has definitely been cancelled because the stage would then be too heavy.

    The second week will thus be the Pyrénées week: the order of the Alps and the Pyrénées is again inversed since the second week was in the Alps during the Tour de France 2007.

    The finish of the 17 July stage would be Perpignan followed by the stage Perpignan > Nîmes the next day.

    Nîmes would also be the start of the stage on 19 July.

    And then the Alps

    On July 19th and 20th the Tour de France will be in Digne-les-Bains at the south side of the Alps (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence).
    On 19 July this city will have the stage finish while the stage will start from Digne-les-Bains on 20 July.
    This city was elected most sporty city of France in the category of cities with less than 20 000 inhabitants by l'Equipe in 2006.

    According to the Dauphiné Libéré the stage which start in Digne-les-Bains on July 20 would go to the top of the Prato Nevoso< in the Italian Piemonte (province of Cuneo) and the next day (21 July) would be a rest day in Cuneo.

    According to new information from Alpes 1 and the Dauphiné Libéré newspaper, on July 22, the Tour stage would start in Cuneo and go to Jausiers via the col de la Lombarde, Isola 2000 and the col de la Bonette > Restefond (2802 meters, the 'roof' of the Tour), continuing the other day, 23 July - still according to Alpes 1 and Dauphiné Libéré and according to this article more or less confirmed by the mayor of Embrun, Chantal Eyméoud - the stage start would be in Embrun in the Hautes Alpes with its finish on the famous Alpe d'Huez.

    On 24 July the Tour would start from Bourg d'Oisans to go to Roanne.

    After the Alps and the Massif Central, there should be a stage which starts in Roanne and finishes in Moulin or in Montluçon (the Tour would thus come back close to Châteauroux ... it's clear that the center of France is definitely part of the Tour again in 2008 !).
    Montluçon has several times requested the Tour to come there and is an important cycling city in the Auvergne with its own club Montluçon-Montmarrault and a former Tour winner - Roger Walkowiak - living there.

    Saturday 26 July 2007, the time trial

    The famous last time trial before going to Paris would, according to La Nouvelle République, go from Saint-Amand-Montrond in the Cher to Cérilly in the Allier.

    Sunday 27 July, finish on the Champs-Elysées in Paris

    And finally, there should be a transfer to somewhere close to Paris (there seem to be less transfers than in 2007 by the way :-)!!) for the final stage which will almost definitely finish with its famous 8 tours on the Champs-Elysées in Paris !
    A well-informed person told me - without however being 100% sure of it - that this stage could well start in Clairefontaine or in Etampes.

    Come back here after 25 October to read all about the official stage tracks of the Tour de France 2008. You can also follow the official presentation from the Palais des Congrès in Paris on 25 October around 11 AM live on the blog Orange dans le Tour, the blog which gives you a look behind the scenes of the Tour de France !

    > Read about the 'Grand Départ' of the Tour de France 2008 on the official Tour de France website

    Overview of the different stages

    Whenever two possibilities are mentioned below, the most probable one is always mentioned first.
    • 5 July 2008: Brest > Plumelec
    • 6 July 2008: Auray > Saint-Brieuc
    • 7 July 2008: Saint-Malo > Nantes
    • 8 July 2008: team time trial Cholet
    • 9 July 2008: Cholet > Châteauroux or La Châtre > Limoges
    • 10 July 2008: La Châtre > Super-Besse or Lac de Vassivière (time trial)
    • 11 July 2008: Besse > Aurillac
    • 12 July 2008: Aurillac > Montauban or Toulouse > Bagnères-de-Bigorre
    • 13 July 2008: Toulouse > Bagnères-de-Bigorre or rest day (Pau)
    • 14 July 2008: Pau > Hautacam
    • 15 July 2008: rest day or Lannemezan > Foix
    • 16 July 2008: Lannemezan > Foix or Lavelanet > ???
    • 17 July 2008: Lavelanet > ??? or ??? > Perpignan
    • 18 July 2008: ??? > Nîmes or Perpignan > Nîmes
    • 19 July 2008: Nîmes > Digne-les-Bains
    • 20 July 2008: Digne-les-Bains > Prato Nevoso (Cuneo, Italy)
    • 21 July 2008: rest day (Cuneo, Italy)
    • 22 July 2008: Cuneo (Italy) > Jausiers
    • 23 July 2008: Embrun > Alpe d'Huez
    • 24 July 2008: Bourg d'Oisans > Roanne
    • 25 July 2008: Roanne > Montluçon
    • 26 July 2008: Saint-Amand-Montrond > Cérilly (time trial)
    • 27 July 2008: Clairefontaine > Paris Champs Elysées or Etampes > Paris Champs Elysées

    Preliminary map of the Tour de France 2008 stages

    Click on the map to see an interactive version of it.
    Preliminary map of the Tour de France 2008 stages

    > Read how the invitation for the Tour presentation gives some ideas for the theme of the Tour de France 2008!

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    > 25 comments | shown 74830x

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


Currently 25 comments!
  1. Hi,

    I've just been reading your page. Did you see the following page in Le Dauphine yestesday (it amy fill in a few holes in your route)


    | Paul Gregory | friday 12 October 2007 at 10:25:22

  2. Hi Paul!

    Thanks for this link! This definitely fills in some holes in the route I already found ... In the mean time I also found some further information for some of the other holes, so I'll probably publish a new update this weekend (if I find the time with Paris > Tours being this weekend!! ;-)

    Thanks again!

    | Thomas Vergouwen | friday 12 October 2007 at 23:31:00

  3. It is more or less what I have seen some days ago.
    After Cuneo rest day, the stage is supposed to finish at Sestriere.
    I do not think that a rest day will be on the 14th of July but we'll see ?
    I have heard about Toulouse as a stage city (arrival and departure).
    See you soon.

    | pascal | saturday 13 October 2007 at 1:30:16

  4. Leuk hoor, alvast zo'n vooruitblik met natuurlijk ook nog een hoop onzekerheden.
    Nog even spannend dus en na 25 oktober zullen we maar eens gaan kijken hoe we e.e.a. kunnen combineren met de vakantie ;-)

    | Meggie | saturday 13 October 2007 at 16:12:11

  5. Salut, j\'ai trouvé ceci, http://www.nantes.maville.com/CYCLISME-Tour-2008-Nantes-aura-son-arrivee-/re/actudet/actu_spo-454045-----_actu.html
    ça peut peut etre t'aider sur l'idée du parcours

    | fanofsports | sunday 14 October 2007 at 15:18:23

  6. J'ai encore une fois mis à jour l'article avec les informations qu'on trouve à l'adresse donnée par fanofsports et avec des informations que j'ai trouvé ailleurs sur les étapes pyrénéennes !

    Par contre, je ne pense pas qu'il y ait un contre-la-montre de prévu à quelques jours d'intervalle seulement (Cholet et Lac de Vassivière) ... il reste donc encore quelques points à confirmer (heureusement, sinon ça ne sert à rien que j'aille à la présentation officielle le 25 octobre ;-).

    Merci à tous pour vos commentaires ... si vous trouvez d'autres informations, n'hésitez pas à me les faire parvenir ...

    Sinon, j'ai aussi trouvé des informations sur letour.over-blog.com, mais il me semble qu'il y ait quelques informations un peu bizarres donc je n'ai pas repris ces infos.

    | Thomas Vergouwen | sunday 14 October 2007 at 20:55:30

  7. Rebonjour sur le meme site que j'ai trouvé pour l'étape de nantes, la veille il disait que l'aso avait averti Vallet qu'aucune étape se deroulerait la bas (il disait aussi pareil pour nantes or ils ont revu leur article le lendemain ...je sais pas si tu as vu l'info ??

    | fanofsports | monday 15 October 2007 at 15:43:11

  8. Oui, je l'avais effectivement vu, mais comme j'ai du mal à croire aux deux contre-la-montre qui se suivent quasiment, j'ai pour l'instant laissé les deux options pour cette étape.

    Sinon j'ai ajouté encore deux autres informations sur l'arrivée sur l'Alpe d'Huez et le départ de Roanne.

    Je vais être absent pour trois jours donc d'eventuelles autres mises à jour vont devoir attendre un tout petit peu !

    Sinon, de toute façon je montrerai en direct depuis le Palais des Congrès le parcours confirmé le jeudi 25 octobre prochain sur le blog Orange dans le Tour.

    | Thomas Vergouwen | monday 15 October 2007 at 22:15:10

  9. Cuneo - l'alpe, je n'y crois pas ça fait tout de même plus de 220 km en montagne.
    Je verrai plutôt une étape intermédiaire ce qui permettrait de remplir la journée du 23 et 24.

    | Pascal ORSINI | monday 15 October 2007 at 23:29:36

  10. i cant see the tour going back south to embrun after a finish on the alpe d'huez, id like to think after this stage well see a stage go north over the col du glandon etc with a finish on la plagne or courceval, or even val thorens, although i know this probly wont happen

    | phillip mills | tuesday 16 October 2007 at 1:18:57

  11. c'est vrai qu'un depart d'embrun après l'alpe d'huez c'est quand meme assez loin comme transfert pour les coureurs (deja il y a des risques pour redescendre ) , au moins que la journée de repos se situe juste apres l'etape de l'alpe d'huez . Moi qui voulait aller à l'alpe d'huez ben je reflechis car il n'y a pas de depart du bourg d'oisans ou de vizille..snifff

    | fanofsports | tuesday 16 October 2007 at 10:12:32

  12. Is it likely that the 1st rest day will be on a Sunday?

    | Rich | tuesday 16 October 2007 at 14:26:30

  13. Is there any update on the Etape du Tour route? Pau to Hautacam is all I have seen recently, with Sunday July 13 being the date (although rest day on Sunday seems odd). Thanks, Mark

    | Mark Manner | saturday 20 October 2007 at 16:25:56

  14. Hi Mark,

    As Rich already mentioned it isn't really likely that the first rest day will be on a Sunday and new information have allowed me to understand that the first rest day would probably actually be on Tuesday July 15.

    Concerning the Etape du Tour, all I've seen indeed mentions Pau > Hautacam which is scheduled for the Tour de France on Monday July 14. This year and last year the Etape du Tour took place about one week before the stage was featured in the Tour but that was always on the first rest day. Since this year the combination of those two wouldn't be possible, we could think it would still be on the first rest day, that is Tuesday July 15 or one day after the stage in the Tour, but I've also read at several places that it would be "early July" ...

    No further information on that on my side (sorry!), but this information will also be published on October 25th during the presentation of the Tour de France. I will publish that information here and on the blog Orange dans le Tour (the blog which gives you a look behind the scenes of the Tour de France) French only, probably live from the presentation!

    Bonne nouvelle pour fanofsports sinon dans cette version mise à jour aujourd'hui ... il ne me reste plus qu'à mettre à jour la carte !!

    | Thomas Vergouwen | sunday 21 October 2007 at 12:59:05

  15. youhouuuu j'ai vu l'info sur le site du dauphiné juste avant de venir voir sur le site... trop cool une arrivée alpe d'huez et depart du bourg d'oisans....vivement la confirmation!!!

    | fanofsports | sunday 21 October 2007 at 15:08:41

  16. Bourg d'Oisans-Roanne. Volgens viamichelin is de kortste route 236 km en die gaat dan nog grotendeels over de snelwegen. Dit lijkt me onwaarschijnlijk.

    Overigens zou het geweldig zijn als ze de Bonette opnemen in het parcours.

    | Herman Nekkers | sunday 21 October 2007 at 20:06:15

  17. Dat is inderdaad ver, maar ...
    1/ De kortste route is hier volgens mij niet de route via de snelweg ... (ook al wil ViaMichelin dat wel doen geloven)
    2/ De langste etappe van de Tour de France 2007 was 236,5 kilometer (Waregem > Compiègne) en de op-een-na-langste 229,5 km (Tallard > Marseille met 2 derde en 2 vierde categorie bergen) ; vorig jaar was dat respectievelijk 228,5 km (Obernai > Esch-sur-Alzette met 2 derde en 3 vierde categorie bergen) en 225 km (Beauvais > Caen)
    3/ Het zou inderdaad kunnen dat de etappe niet finisht in Roanne maar ergens tussen le Bourg d'Oisans en Roanne zodat de volgende dag toch het vertrek vanuit Roanne kan zijn ...

    Voor de rit vanuit Cuneo zijn er weinig andere alternatieven, dus de kans dat de Bonette er in zit (als de etappe inderdaad Cuneo > Alpe d'Huez wordt) is vrij groot!! :-)

    | Thomas Vergouwen | sunday 21 October 2007 at 20:36:56

  18. only two mountain top finishes, plus super besse? how sad

    | phillip mills | sunday 21 October 2007 at 21:17:12

  19. 3 mountain top finishes last year so about right.

    | Rich | sunday 21 October 2007 at 21:24:16

  20. i would hardly put super besse in the catorgary of a mountaion top finish, it only gains what 350 metres in altitude. does any one think there could be a mountain top finish in italy the day before the rest day in cuneo? weren't there rumours of prato nevaso last week?

    | phillip mills | monday 22 October 2007 at 2:26:03

  21. Prato Nevoso has indeed been rumoured at several places for the "Cuneo" stage finish. I also got a "confirmation" on this from a well informed source this afternoon ... who also gave me two cities which could be the start of the last stage to Paris!!!

    | Thomas Vergouwen | tuesday 23 October 2007 at 1:03:58

  22. De aankomst van de negende juli is Superbesse

    | jeroen wielaert | tuesday 23 October 2007 at 13:41:51

  23. De aankomst van de negende juli is Superbesse

    | jeroen wielaert | tuesday 23 October 2007 at 13:41:56

  24. Is de start de 20e in Digne veranderd???

    B;ijft de aankomst wel in Digne de 19e?
    Iets bekend?

    | Kuiper | thursday 10 April 2008 at 11:13:51

  25. Inderdaad: de start van de 15de etappe op zondag 20 juli is niet in Digne-les-Bains maar in Embrun. De aankomst van de etappe op 19 juli blijft Digne-les-Bains. Zie voor meer informatie mijn artikeltje over deze wijziging
    The start of the 15th stage on Sunday 20 July is indeed no longer in Digne-les-Bains but in Embrun. The finish of the stage on 19 July will still be Digne-les-Bains. For more information check out my blog post about this change
    Le départ de la 15ième étape le dimanche 20 juillet n'est effectivement pas à Digne-les-Bains mais à Embrun. L'arrivée de l'étape du 19 juillet sera toujours à Digne-les-Bains. Pour plus d'informations vous pouvez consulter mon article au sujet de ce changement de parcours

    | Thomas Vergouwen | thursday 10 April 2008 at 23:33:48

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