Tour de France 2015 is well under way, with cyclists furiously battling it out to be in possession of the coveted yellow jersey. The race started in Utrecht (for the first time in Le Tour's history) and has since worked its way across the northern part of France, with stage nine finishing in Brittany's Plumelec. After a quick flight down to Pau, where cyclists will have a day to rest, the race will recommence on the 14th of July from Tarbes, a commune in the Midi-Pyrénées region of south west France.
Following our first instalment on the
Tour de France - North, here's a recap of this year's Tour de France and our picks for the southern part of the race.
Stage one in the Tour de France 2014
Recap - What's new in 2015?
This year's race began on Saturday the 4th of July and will finish on Sunday the 26th. The first nine stages took place in Utrecht and the northern part of France, and the remainder will travel from south west to south east France, before cyclists fly to Paris for the final stretch along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. 22 teams are competing, racing through 21 stages of varying terrain, difficulty and distance, amounting to a massive 3,360km in total.
Recap - What's the same in 2015?
Like previous years, competitors are racing to wear one of the award category jerseys. These categories include best climber, young rider, and points classification. The yellow General Classification jersey, which is awarded to the cyclist with the best aggregate time, is the most sought after.
Highlights of the Tour de France: South
Stage 10: After a day's rest at Pau, watching the cyclists resume the race in stage 10 is sure to be exciting. The 167km stretch begins in Tarbes and ends with a difficult climb at La Pierre-Saint-Martin, a brand new site for Le Tour. Riders will be pushed to the very limit with a 15% gradient at around 25km long, which will make for great spectating.
Stage 14: Although the majority of stage 14 is set to be fairly peaceful, the last 40kms are bound to be a thrilling watch. Cyclists will have to contend with three climbs, almost one after the other, before completing the 178.5km stage in Mende. Grab a spot along this last stretch to pick the best from best.
Tour de France 2015 race route
Stage 20: As the penultimate stage of the Tour de France 2015, stage 20 is perhaps the most crucial. This stage is not only full of challenging sections, but it's also the last chance for cyclists to make a real difference to the outcome of the Tour. The stage ends with the iconic alpine climb up the beautiful Alpe d'Huez - this is one for true cycling enthusiasts.
Stage 21: The final stage of the Tour de France really is one of the best, and if you're going to choose just one stage to watch, then this is it. Cyclists will begin this leg at Sèvres, winding their way up to Paris and covering 109.5km, before racing up the Avenue des Champs-Élysées for what's guaranteed to be an unmissable sprint. Get down early to get a good spot, and watch on as the Tour de France 2015 winners are announced. Bravo!
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