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The 2014 Tour de France will be the 101st edition of the race and looks on paper to be one of the toughest seen in a number of years. The riders must tackle five summit finishes over six high mountain stages (one in the Vosges, two in the Alps, and three in the Pyrenees), while a treacherous cobbled day awaits on stage 5. The total distance ridden will be over 3,600 kilometres and, besides France, the Tour will also visit the United Kingdom, Belgium and Spain. The start in Yorkshire will be the 20th Grand Départ abroad, and the furthest north in the sport's history.
Besides the rare presence of cobbles and the numerous ascents in store, one of the most notable features of the 2014 parcours is the lack of time-trialling kilometres. There is only one stage where riders will be against the clock, for a total of 54 km, which should play into the hands of the pure climbers in the peloton. As the Tour alternates its direction each year, 2014 will see the course going through the Vosges Mountains and Alps before three critical days in the Pyrenees.
On the 100th anniversary of the First World War, the Tour will pay tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives by following a commemorative path along much of the Western Front. The riders will go past places marked by some of history's bloodiest battles, including Ypres, Passchendaele, Arras, the Somme, Chemin des Dames, and Verdun. The organisers will also arrange tributes for François Faber, Octave Lapize and Lucien Petit-Breton, three of the Tour’s early winners who died during the Great War.
Sections in 2014 TOUR DE FRANCE GUIDE:
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