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                  > Tour de France 2013

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Tour de France St. 21

Évry to Paris-Champs Élysées
Sunday July 27th, 137.5kms 

kittel-wins-tour-stage3The final procession, the final sprint, the final chance of glory for the sprinters. For some, today's TT was brutally hard as they were racing for placings on the stage and in the GC. For others though, they had a nice easy day, rolling in at their leisure with tomorrow's stage in mind!

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TDF Stage 20

Bergerac to Périgueux
Saturday July 26th, 54kms ITT

tdf-stage20-profileThe second and third steps on the podium are still up for grabs and it should be a fascinating conclusion to the Tour for fans of Pinot, Peraud and Valverde. A 54km, lumpy individual Time Trial awaits them on this stage and there's going to be some tremendous battles out there on the road to Périgieux.

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TDF Stage 19

Maubourguet Pays du Val d'Adour to Bergerac
Friday July 25th, 208.5kms 

tdf-stage19-profileAfter some massive days in the mountains and some memorable performances from Tinkoff-Saxo and Nibali, the peloton finally gets some respite as the riders face a relatively easy day heading north out of Maubourguet Pays de pal d'Adour up to Bergerac.

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TDF Stage 18

Pau to Hautacam
Thursday July 24th, 145.5kms 

tdf-stage18-profilePau and Hautacam. Two names synonymous with the Tour de France.  Pau being a frequently visited town when the race is in this corner of France, and Hautacam as one of the iconic climbs of the Tour's history. Throw in the Tourmalet along the way and you have the makings of an epic stage.

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Jack's Stage 17 Preview

Jack's Preview!
Wednesday July 23rd, 124.5kms 

tdf-stage17-profileI was out on Tuesday night at a work event and my 10 year old called me on the phone. I jokingly asked him to do my preview for me as I was going to be home late. When I got home around 10.30pm, there was a word doc open on my laptop. Here is what he wrote... Enjoy!

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TDF Stage 17

Saint-Gaudens to Saint-Lary Pla d'Adet
Wednesday July 23rd, 124.5kms 

tdf-stage17-profileSo after the longest stage of the race we get the shortest stage of the race at just 124kms. On a normal day, this would take them less than 3 hours, but this isn't a normal day! The short distance of the course means that the time limit is going to be very tight and we could find a bunch of the non-climbers battling just to stay in the race. 

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TDF Stage 16

Carcassonne to Bagnères-de-Luchon
Tuesday July 22nd, 237.5kms 

tdf-stage16-lastkmsSo just six stages left and although the winner looks to be as good as crowned there is still a lot of racing to be done and a lot of places in the top 10 still to be decided. This Tour has been packed with drama right from the very first stage and it doesn't look like it will let up any time soon, with some exciting stages in the coming days. 

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TDF Stage 15

Tallard to Nîmes
Sunday July 20th, 222kms 

amphitheatre-nimesIt's all over bar the shouting as they say. Vincenzo was magnificent again today, extending the lead over his rivals even more and it's now the best part of five minutes to the chasing pack. Once again it was his trademark acceleration that did the damage and once again none of his rivals were able to even get out the saddle to go after him. 

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TDF Stage 14

Grenoble to Risoul
Saturday July 19th, 177kms 

risoulWe hit the Haute-Alpes with this absolute beast of a stage. 177kms which contains two Cat 1 climbs and a HC ascent, there could be some big time gaps open up by the end of today. First up are the legendary climbs of the Col du Lautaret and the Col d'Izoard and is finished off by a new climb to the Tour, the Risoul. 

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TDF Stage 13

Saint-Étienne to Chamrousse
Friday July 19th, 197.5kms 

TDF-stage13-col-de-palaquitAfter the transition stages of the previous days, we finally start to head in to the 'big mountains'.. They may only be hitting the western edges, but with a Cat 1 and a HC climb within the last 60kms of the stage they will certainly know they've reached the Alps. The final pull up to Chamrousse is sure to be a killer, with a peloton already very tired and beaten after two very hard weeks of racing.  

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Tour de France St. 12

Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Étienne
Thursday July 17th, 185.5kms 

gerrans-wins-liegeAnother transition stage on the way to the Alps which looks quite similar to the previous days rolling profile as they head to Saint-Étienne and the eastern fringes of the Massif Centrale. It looks like a perfect day for a breakaway with the HC mountain coming up the next day. 

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Tour de France St. 11

Besançon to Oyonnax
Wednesday July 16th, 187.5kms 

sagan in greenWell.. I had started my rest day review on Sunday, taking about how eventful the race had been up until now, and that it was all set up nicely for a duel in the high mountains over the coming weeks. That was well and truly ripped up after Monday's events with another shocking abandonment.

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Tour de France St. 10

Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles
Monday July 14th, 161.5kms 

froome-la-plancheWe may have seen Contador fire a shot across the bows of Nibali with his peformance in the last kilometre of stage 8, but today will be the first all-out war for the GC.. The summit finish to the Planche des Belles Filles comes at the end of a very hard day in the saddle and we may well see the end of all hopes for some with only just over a week gone. 

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Tour de France St. 9

Gérardmer to Mulhouse
Sunday July 13th, 170kms 

kadri-wins-tdf-stage8Blel Kadri won a fantastic victory for AG2R after shedding his breakaway companions along the way to La Mauselaine. Behind though the action was dramatic. Tinkoff-Saxo drove hard at the front inside the last 10kms and when Nico Roche hit the front he blew things to pieces and set it up for Contador to press on to the finish. 

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Tour de France St. 8

Tomblaine to Gérardmer La Mauselaine
Saturday July 12th, 161kms 

Trentin-tdf-stage7We may have had a lumpy stage 2 through the Yorkshire countryside, but this is where we may see the first signs of who has good climbing legs or not with three climbs packed in to the last 27kms. The three climbs are back to back and give very little recovery time between each one before finishing on the summit of the Gérardmer La Mauselaine. 

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Tour de France St. 7

Épernay to Nancy
Friday July 11th, 234.5kms 

greipThis should be an interesting stage and a break from the sprint outcomes we have had on all of the flat stages so far. The reason being is that this looks like a day for a breakaway, with a challenging last 30kms that includes two Cat 4 climbs and another uncategorised lump just before them on the run-in that could act as a springboard for a final solo attack. 

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Tour de France St. 6

Arras to Reims
Thursday July 10th, 194kms 

boom-wins-stage5Where do you even begin to sum up today's stage. It's been described already as being "Epic", "Legendary" and the like - but it will be remembered for three things in particular - the sad loss of Chris Froome to a crash, Nibali's stunning performance and Lars Boom's sensational stage victory.. 

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Tour de France St. 5

Ypres to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut
Wednesday July 9th, 155.5kms 

carrefour-cobblesThis could be one of the most significant and important stages of the entire race. It may only be 155kms long and it may be almost totally flat, but this stage is going to be a beast. 9 sections of the Paris-Roubaix cobbles over the last 67kms. There could be carnage in this stage and the GC men need to be on their guard throughout.

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Tour de France St. 4

Le Touquet-Paris-Plage to Lille Métropole
Tuesday July 8th, 163.5kms 

kittel-wins-tour-stage3After three brilliant days in front of millions of fans, the Tour returns back across the Manche. When the riders were being warned that it was going to be tough here I don't think they expected a day quite as hard as stage 2. There were broken men coming past us with 20kms still to go, don't think many of them expected to be so far down the GC after just three stages.

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Tour de France St. 3

Cambridge to London
Monday July 7th, 155kms 

kitteldubaiAfter two fantastic stages oop North, the Tour heads south towards the capital. The locals in Essex will be well jel as the tanned pros whizz through their neighbourhoods and past the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf and on the City of London. It's going to be a spectacular and special day and I personally can't wait! 

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Tour de France St. 2

York to Sheffield 
Sunday July 6th, 201kms 

eyup-tdfStage 2 should be an excellent days racing - I hope to see some quality attacking action on possibly either Oughtibridge or Bradfield inside the last 25kms as I am heading up that neck of the woods for the weekend. The stage has been described in many places as being like Liege-Bastogne-Liege, let's hope for a day of classics-like racing! 

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Teams and Riders 

The teams and riders to watch in the TDF 2014.

riders-tdfTwenty two teams, 9 riders a team - 198 nervous riders will take to the start line next Saturday morning in Leeds as the TDF 2014 Grand Départ gets under way. The teams of course are made up of different kinds of riders, each with their special jobs to do. 

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TDF - Other Betting Markets 

How many riders will finish? Winning margin?

nairoThese are just some of the myriad of betting opportunities that are available on the Tour de France. It's unlike any other race of the year from a betting point of view as it is almost bewildering the amount of different markets to choose from. I just wish that the bookies would put in such an effort for all other big races during the year! 

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Tour de France Jerseys betting

Who'll take home the green, polka dot and white jerseys?

tdf-jerseys-2013Last year we saw Nairo Quintana swoop on the penultimate stage to steal the mountains Jersey from the shoulders of Chris Froome with a brilliant stage win to add it to the white jersey he was wearing for best young rider. Sagan comfortably won the green points Jersey,  he was 1/10 for it after just a week! 

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Tour de France Stage1

Leeds to Harrogate 
Saturday July 5th, 190.5kms 

le-tour-logoHere we go then! Stage one, in Yorkshire - the long awaited Grand Depart! A stage that on paper is supposedly one for Mark Cavendish to write the fairytale headlines for the TDF's venture across Le Manche. Mark Cavendish wins the stage in the town where his mother used to live and dons the yellow jersey for the first time in his career! If only it was as straightforward and simple as that! 

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