Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users take on 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to fight ALS

Read more

ENCORE!

From Paris's Liberation to 'arresting' art in Avignon

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Ferguson riots: Pressure mounts on Obama

Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Turkey’s Erdogan names foreign minister Davutoglu as next PM

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Former Femen activist detained after fighting veiled woman

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

Sport

2011 Tour de France set to be an uphill battle

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-10-19

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme has unveiled a climb-heavy 98th edition of the world's biggest cycle race. The presentation in Paris was overshadowed by defending champion Alberto Contador's suspension for alleged doping.

AFP - Tour de France organisers unveiled a climb-heavy 98th edition of the world's biggest bike race in 2011 as defending champion Alberto Contador's absence weighed heavily on the presentation here Tuesday.

Contador, a three-time winner of the coveted yellow jersey, is currently provisionally suspended after testing positive for trace amounts of the banned substance clenbuterol.

As the Spaniard awaits a decision regarding a possible sanction, race organisers gave a spectacular show of just what he could be missing next year.

VIDEO - On the road again with the Tour 2011



A total of six stages will be held in the high mountains, four of which will finish on the summits so beloved of the thousands of fans who line the route in July.

Although there are 10 'flat' stages, the opportunities for bunch sprints in 2011, five of which were won by British sprint king Mark Cavendish, will be limited.

Time trial specialists were also left down in the mouth at the lack of victory opportunities. Breaking with tradition, there will be no time trial prologue to start the event, a team time trial of 23km on stage two and only one long individual time trial, a 43km race against the clock, on the penultimate stage 20.

Frank Schleck, the older brother of Andy and with whom he will start next year's race in a new, Luxembourg-based team, admitted: "It's a real climber's course."

July's 97th edition was one of the most spectacular in recent history with an authentic duel between Luxembourg's Andy Schleck and Spanish ace Contador, who won the race in 2007 and 2009 having won the Tours of Italy and Spain in 2008.

Contador eventually finished with a 39-sec lead on Schleck, who, in the event Contador is given a ban, will line up as one of the main favourites for the yellow jersey.

He will find a worthy rival, however, in Italian Ivan Basso, the 2010 Giro d'Italia winner who is set to focus mainly on the Tour de France next year.
 

Date created : 2010-10-19

  • CYCLING

    Tour winner Contador pleads innocence in doping case

    Read more

  • CYCLING

    Tour winner Contador suspended after failing test

    Read more

  • CYCLING

    Tour de France champion Contador tests positive

    Read more

COMMENT(S)