Preview: Tour Languedoc Roussillon 2013

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Languedoc Roussillon Preview ImageAfter a false start in 2012 Tour of Languedoc-Roussillon is definitely on for 2013.

Almost 640 kilometres across six stages through the stunning landscapes of Languedoc-Roussillon. The region has everything you could want for a bike race: the mountains of the Pyrenees; vine covered hills; open plains and Mediterranean coastline. It’s got the lot.

Who’s Racing?

Eighteen teams of six riders will take to the start line making a field of 108 riders. There hasn’t been an official provisional start list published but click the button below for a provisional social start list collated from a plethora of unofficial sources across the internet!

Start List

The Route

Stage 1 – 17th May – Villemoustaussou to Lézignan-Corbières – 121.60 km

Languedoc Roussillon Stage 1 Profile

Starting just north of Carcassone in Villemoustaussou, stage 1 gently introduces the riders to the climbs that lie ahead with 847 metres of climbing across the 121km course. None of the climbs are especially high, the highest being 245 metres above sea-level. The two categorised climbs, both Cat 3’s occur at 13km and 68km into the race. With sprint points at 61.6km and 86km. In terms of the general classification, little will be decided on the day.

Stage 2 – 18th May – Lézignan-Corbières to Le Barcarès – 122.2km

Languedoc Roussillon Stage 2 Profile

Day 2 sees the race head south to the coastal town of Le Barcarès. The early kilometres gradually climb before two category three climbs at 50 and 62.7km kilometres followed by a Catergory two climb with 37 kilometres to the finish. After reaching the peak of this final climb it’s all downhill to the finish.

Stage 3 – 19th May – Maury to Camurac –  123.50 km

Languedoc Roussillon Stage 3 Profile

If any rider has been struggling with the climbs in the first few days then Stage 3 is going to be a very long day in the saddle. There’s 3,140 vertical metres of climbing to be done! After the category 1 climb at the 45 kilometre mark there are three Hors Categorie climbs in the final 37 kilometres with each one higher than the last. The gradients are frequently in excess of 15% to the finish in the ski resort of Camurac, just north of the border with Andorra.

Stage 4 – 20th May – Belcaire – Villemoustaussou –  130.2 km

Languedoc Roussillon Stage  4 ProfileThe profile for stage four looks a lot like many of the profile maps at the Giro Rosa, except this one doesn’t read right to left. It’s downhill almost all day. Starting at Belcaire, there’s 2,264 metres of descending across the 130 kilometre stage to Villemoustaussou, where the race started on the 17th. It’s not all downhill though, there’s still some 1,502 metres of climbing to be tackled in the form of a category two climb sandwiched between two category one climbs in the mid-section of the race.

Stage 5 – 21st May – Trèbes to Laure-Minervois – ITT – 27.90 km

Languedoc Roussillon Stage 5 Profile

The penultimate stage is a 27.9 kilometre time-trial and provides the opportunity for riders to either claw back some of the time that may have been lost in the mountains or cement their lead before the final stage. Starting in Trèbes the first half of the course heads east and is mostly slightly downhill. When the road turns in Purcheric and heads north-west to the finish in Laure-Minervois these final 10 kilometres have a gentle upward gradient. There’s no significant climbing but the gradual ascent can be draining if a rider has gone out a little too hard.

Stage 6 – 22nd May – Béziers – 114 km

Languedoc Roussillon Stage 6 Profile

With the mountains behind them the final stage starts and finishes in Béziers, one of the oldest cities in France. The stage starts on the eastern edge of the city before heading north and looping around the Espondeilhan and returning to a finish in the centre of the city. The profile is rarely flat but little to trouble those who’ve made it this far in the race. The only catergorised climb is a Category 2, peaking around 250 metres above sea-level at the halfway point, the filling in a sprint point sandwich 7 kilometres each side of the climb.

 




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