JEAN-FRANÇOIS PESCHEUX’S ANALYSIS : "A strong man rather than a specialist"
“This is the race’s only individual time trial, as the one in the first week was a team time trial test, while putting another one into the middle of the race didn’t really serve any great purpose. The profile is rolling and the road does climb, although there aren’t any extended ascents as such. Victory won’t automatically go to a specialist because the final time trial of the Tour is a very physical test that suits a strong man – last year’s Bordeaux-Pauillac test won by Cancellara was an exception. In this solitary exercise, there is no way a rider can bluff or hide in the wheels of their team-mates. But I think that the Tour will have been decided before Grenoble. It is often the third place on the podium, the best young rider classification or the team prize that is decided on this stage.”
Time Trial Host Town:
• Stage town on 38 previous occasions
• 160, 000 inhabitants
• Prefecture of Isère (38)
Thanks to its location at the heart of the Alps, and so surrounded by mountains, lovers of outdoor sports and activities will find the perfect base in Grenoble. The birthplace of Stendhal, the ’inventor’ of the guide book concept, Grenoble is a city where you are reminded of his quote that “there is a mountain at the end of every street.” Boasting a dense and diverse heritage, stretching from the Gallo-Roman period to today’s sustainable-living environment, the city is a destination for visitors attracted by the charm of its narrow streets and squares, bustling year-round with students and a number of festivals. There is plenty to discover, too, such as Grenoble’s museum, the MC2 Culture Centre and the National Centre of Contemporary Art, Le Magasin. Or head off for a high-altitude adventure by taking the urban cable car up to the Bastille, which offers one of the most beautiful panoramic views in the French Alps. So come to Grenoble – a city that goes beyond!
A Tour stage town since 1905, Grenoble has a special place in its history for having hosted an event of which the impact was insignificant at the time. In 1919, at the start of the 11th stage, a new kind of ceremony was held, as a yellow jersey, which had been created to identify the leader of the general classification in the peloton, was handed over to Eugène Christophe. The innovation which was going to change the face of cycling was lavishly praised by a ten-line news item in L’Auto (the daily sports paper). Since then 267 champions have put on the famous garment.