Tour de France chiefs set to unveil 2009 route

Watch the live presentation here today

Tour de France chiefs are set to end months of waiting by unveiling the route that they hope will provide another exciting race for the famous yellow jersey in 2009. You can see the presentation live on BikeRadar.com at 11.30am CEST (10:30BST).

It appears - according to reports online - there are few secrets left concerning next year's race route.

Beginning in Monaco with a possibly hilly time trial, the first week will be a mixture of flat and hilly stages with, notably, a finish in Barcelona likely on stage six.

From just outside Barcelona the race will head up to the first summit finish in Andorra, before another difficult day of climbing in the Pyrenees on stage seven.

Tour de france chiefs set to unveil 2009 route: tour de france chiefs set to unveil 2009 route

A combination of flat and rolling stages could lead the peloton through the south-west of France and up towards the plains surrounding Bordeaux. Limoges is being touted as the race's first rest day, with a possible transfer that will take the race towards Colmar in the east of France.

Although yet to be confirmed, a slightly unusual final week could see the peloton tackle a few more summit finishes in the Alps, with a second time trial being touted around the Lake of Annecy.

The big news everyone wants confirmed is whether, as some reports have claimed, the Tour will tackle the difficult climb to the summit of Mont Ventoux on stage 20, the penultimate stage of the race.

In the months since Spaniard Carlos Sastre claimed overall victory, a host of stage and jersey winners - including Austrian Bernard Kohl and Stefan Schumacher of Germany - have been exposed as drugs cheats.

But a bigger question on the minds of some fans will be whether seven-time champion Lance Armstrong will take part.

After recently announcing he is coming out of retirement, the 37-year-old American has since placed a question mark on whether he will participate in next July's epic, which begins in the Principality of Monaco.

"Before I announced my return, I contacted the organisers, but they didn't respond," Armstrong said recently.

"Is it possible they wouldn't invite me to the Tour? Anything is possible, but it would be incredible. I want to be in Paris, but in a serene situation."

Last week Armstrong confirmed he would definitely race the Giro d'Italia, which is held a month before the Tour, for the first time.

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