Tour de France 2009: Stage 8 preview
Tour de France 2009 stage 8 preview logo
When Saturday July 11
Where Andorra-la-Vella – Saint-Girons
How long 176.5km
IMPACT ON CLASSIFICATIONS
Yellow Jersey: 2/5
Green Jersey: 1/5
Polka-Dot Jersey: 4/5
The climbing starts right from the gun today, with the 23-kilometre first-category climb of the Port d’Envalira. The favourites will have to be vigilant over the three tough climbs on route today, but they should be content to let a sizeable group slip away to contest the stage victory. Back on French soil, the escape is likely to be whittled down by the day’s final obstacle, the Col d’Agnès, which comes forty kilometres from the finish in the Ariège town of Saint-Girons. Polka-dot jersey pretenders could do worse than stake their claim by leading over the three mountains on offer today.
- So often the bridesmaid, Saint-Girons is finally the bride, having being a Tour ville-départ on four occasions. Most recently, Gilberto Simoni won a stage from here which finished in Loudenvielle in 2003.
- The 2409m Port d’Envalira is the highest road pass in the Pyrenees. It was originally used in the Tour in 1964, when Julio Jimenez crested the summit first on the way to stage victory in Andorra.
- The day’s third and final climb, the Col d’Agnès, was first used in the 1988 Tour. Brit Robert Millar led the race over the top.