The Spin – Stage 21

The race transfers to Corsica and the opening stage of the 2013 Tour de France is a 200km race from Porto Vecchio to Bastia. There’s a climb with 10km to go but the chances of a bunch sprint are high and many of the sprinters will want a chance to wear the yellow jersey.

It’s the opening stage of the 2013 Tour and we will have three days of racing on the “Island of Beauty”. For now little is know about the route. The start in Corsica is a certainty and then the race will take the ferry to Nice for a team time trial on Tuesday and then on Wednesday the stage starts in Cagnes-sur-Mer and heads to… an unknown destination.

The 2013 Tour will be the 100th edition of the race and word is we will be treated to a “greatest hits” collection of stages with Mont Ventoux, Alpe d’Huez, the Col d’Izoard and many other places made famous by the Tour de France. Antoine Blondin once said the race “graces the landscape more than than it borrows from it” and it’s true, for example a ski resort like Alpe d’Huez is so well known but the equal and opposite Les Deux Alpes… well you might never have heard of it. This time the 100th edition looks set to pay tribute to its own past.

But the route is unknown. Each Tour is planned roughly 18 months in advance, meaning that when one starts, the route for the following edition is already set, although it can be tweaked. Organiser Christian Prudhomme has said there will be more summit finishes, in fact he said yesterday he looks forward to seeing Nairo Quintana as a contender, the Colombian climber with Movistar.

The Finish: on the Champs Elysées in Paris. But a bunch sprint… or a time trial?

TV: the route will be announced on 24 October at 11.30 Euro time and streamed live via

It might be premature but I’m already looking forward to the 2013 Tour de France. Wiggins should be tested with more climbing and probably greater opposition but he’ll surely have something to say, plus Sky return with Froome and quite possibly Uran and Henao too in the mountains.

35 thoughts on “The Spin – Stage 21”

  1. The title made me chuckle and having read this piece I’ve got a warm feeling which takes away the Post-Tour-Blues – for now at least, till the time of day approaches when I usually would set up the stage-ticker + Inrng-Twitterfeed to follow the stage from my office.
    Well, guess I’ve got to wait till the Vuelta for that to happen again. But for now, thank you very much!

  2. The bad news is that they’ll have to watch out for the black free-range Corsican pigs that literally wander about all over the roads.

    The good news is they’ll be able to taste the genuine traditional Corsican charcuterie, which is one of the delights of any stay in Corsica.

  3. If it’s the battle of the climbers, I think Andy will also like to add few things. It was very exciting to see Quintana race away on Col de Joux-Plane and taking the stage at Dauphine. With Contador and Froome, 100th edition of the Tour will definitely be special.

  4. The 2012 edition is already affecting the general public. This morning on my ride to work (as I cruised slowly towards a red traffic light) a motorist came up beside me and said: “Just cause you’ve got your own lane [it was a painted bike lane at that point that began in between two lanes] you don’t have to go so bloody slow. Put a bit of effort in.” I guess he’s been watching the Tour and expects everyone to ride like that.

    Honestly, I’ve heard it all now.

    • Some mad people in a car kept beeping me yesterday afternoon- I think they were acknowledging Brad and Cav’s big day. Truly the trickledown effect has started.

      • Hmmm, me too, maybe the middle finger salute is some kind of British thing? Two lane road, no opposing traffic, so there was no other reason to honk and signal.

    • Hey, at the least he could have used the Tour cheer, “Allez! Allez!” That would have been much better. Next time, tell him, “tomorrow, bring your bike, and we can trade pulls!” That should fix things.

  5. As a Colombian, I’m excited to hear 3 mentioned already for next year. Reality tells me otherwise, looking at the last three years and the number of participants in those (2 total)

    • I was bummed that Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Henao weren’t in the Tour this year. Henao is a proven climber and still young, while Uran is also young and a fantastic climber for the long, high mountain stages. Can’t wait for the 2013 edition — they will no doubt animate the mountain stages!

      …and we’ve seen what Quintana’s legs can do too!

      Froome will be the GC rider next year, but Uran and Henao will likely be super domestiques and possible stage winners 🙂 And CN reports that Cavendish MAY be looking for another team that gives him a dedicated sprint train instead of SKY’s part-time train and full-time GC aspirations.

      With the “greatest hits” of climbing for the 100th Anniversary, we’re in for a royal treat!

      We should be seeing Contador, ASchleck, Froome, Evans/TJVG (co-captains?) Nibali, Hesjedal, , JVdB and other GC contenders all showing up for the big dance 🙂

  6. Nothing like looking ahead!

    Reading about the level of training and dedication that the whole Sky team put into to the build up for this year I’m a bit concerned that they won’t be able to work that hard for next year and Wiggins will be very much in demand over the winter so won’t be able to hermit it up on Tenerife. Curse of the Yellow Jersey? Mind you, Sky/BC managed to avoid that with Cavendish this year.

    Now, what’s all this talk about going up Alpe d’Huez two times in one stage for 2013??

    • I’ve heard this before. You ride over the Alpe and then descend via the Col de Sarenne towards the base of the Alpe again. It’d be interesting, especially since the Sarenne is about 2000m I think, so more climbing above the Alpe.

      • There’s not a ton of climbing on the Sarenne once you’re already in the AdH village. There *is* a whole bunch of crappy road that would get repaved if they use it in the Tour. That’d be great. The Col de Sarenne makes up a bit for the lack of scenery on the Alpe.

  7. Let’s have a downhill team time trial. Some ‘white roads’ that go through an area where there’s no radio reception and riders are at risk of bear attack. Bradley Wiggins could wear one of those ‘beer’ hats with two straws to suck on. And Froomedog can ride a tandem, while his missus tweets from the rear seat.

  8. Please M. Amaury lets have a route that when announced on 24th October at 11.30AM will not have us able to tell by 11.31 on 24th October who is most likely to be in yellow on 28th July 2013

  9. Greatest hits? Hmmm…
    What else would be on a greatest hits tour, apart from mountains?
    Sprint finish in Bordeaux.
    Some northern cobbles.
    Brittany hills.
    A windy stage in the Camargue or the Vendee.
    Going past Carcassonne.

    There’d be a lot of long transfers if they included all that!
    Any other ideas?

  10. I’m saying it right now, Sky will walk it. They’ll make Contador look like Chris Horner. Sky will go with a few more climbers and they’ll do so much preparation and groundwork that it’ll be won before it starts. Team Saxo -Tinkoff? Have a word with yourself. Although perhaps I should give the Spaniard a chance and see how he does in the Vuelta against Sky. But I’ve got a feeling that now they’ve tasted blood they’re going to want a lot more. Anything less than domination over the Vuelta will be a bit of a let-down.

  11. I rode Col de La Pierre Saint Martin last week, the locals told me the upper section had been resurfaced in an attempt to get the tour to ride it next year…

    • 2011 when he was coming off a Giro win and attempting the double?

      I am think Contador takes the Vuelta by a petty substantial margin this year, although I am excited to see what Froome can actually do in the mountains as the leader.

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