Tour de France route revealed
Corsica sees its first visit by fabled race as route is revealed under the shadow of Lance Armstrong
TOUR de France fans are looking forward to some exciting racing for next year's event - the 100th anniversary of the world's leading cycle race.
Being run under the shadow of Lance Armstrong and the loss of his seven race titles, Race director Christian Prudhomme pulled out the stops to make the route as varied as possible and include many "picture postcard" parts of the country.
Starting for the first time in Corsica, the tour will remain entirely within France and will also see two ascents of the fabled Alpe d'Huez on the same stage, No18, with a summit finish. It will also see just two stages in the Pyrénées.
The sprinters will be the first to show their paces with the first stage on June 29 being over 200km along the coast road from Porto-Vecchio to Bastia, then 155km from Bastia to Ajaccio and 145km Ajaccio to Calvi on July 1.
A ferry to Nice will see the capital of the Côte d'Azur host a team time trial on July 2 before the Tour leaves from Cagnes-sur-Mer for Marseille.
Remaining stage starts are: July 4 Aix-en-Provence - Montpellier; Montpellier - Albi; Castres - Ax-3 Domaines; Saint-Girons - Bagnères-de-Bigorre. Rest day on July 8 in Saint-Nazaire, Loire-Atlantique.
July 9 Saint-Gildas-des-Bois - Saint-Malo; Avranches - Mont Saint-Michel individual time trial; Fougères - Tours; Tours - Saint-Amand-Montrond; Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule - Lyon; Givors - Mont-Ventoux. Rest day on July 15 in Vaucluse.
July 16 Vaison-la-Romaine - Gap; Embrun - Chorges individual time trial; Gap - Alpe d'Huez; Bourg d'Oisans- Le Grand Bornand; Annecy - Annecy, Semnoz.
The final stage from Versailles to Paris is on July 21 with a night-time finish.
Both Paris and Bagnères-de-Bigorre share a singular honour, being the only places to appear on both 50th anniversary and 100th anniversary tours.
Graphic: © ASO