The 99th edition of the Tour de France gets underway tomorrow with a 6.4km prologue in the "Grand Départ" city of Liège, Belgium.
Here at ICJ we'll focus on the Italian teams and riders during the race.
The defending champion: Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team)
Some important statistics:
22 teams (Liquigas-Cannondale, and Lampre-ISD are the Italian teams)
31 nations represented at the start
23 riders who are eligible for the youth classification (white jersey)
Oldest rider: Jens Voigt (RNT) – 40 years, nine months and 13 days old at the start
Youngest rider: Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) – 22 years, one month and one day old at the start
1 prologue and 20 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,497 kilometers
9 flat stages
4 medium mountain stages - one with a summit finish
5 mountain stages - two with a summit finish
2 individual time-trial stages
2 rest days
The start list:
The The official start list of the 99th Tour de France was published earlier today, complete with the race numbers of all riders. Yesterday there was a remote chance that one rider may have been replaced between the team presentation and the start of the prologue as David Millar of the Garmin-Sharp team was suffering an illness. LeTour.fr contacted the directeur sportif of the outfit, Allan Peiper, who confirmed that – although he had been vomiting and was unwell for a couple of days – Millar will in fact take the start. Start list here.
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