Pros and Cons of the 2011 Tour de France Route

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Officials unveiled the 2011 Tour de France route on Oct. 19, and the cycling world can’t decide if the climb-heavy route is good or bad.

Tour Director Christian Prudhomme said, “The route of the 2011 Tour has been determined with two objectives in mind: to set the pace from the beginning of the race and maintain suspense right up until the very end.”

Here’s what cyclists and reporters thought:

I think it will be more difficult to win the king of the mountains, you’ll have to be stronger now perhaps. As a result, it seems as though one of the top ten overall will automatically be king of the mountains. -Richard Virenque, retired French cyclist and 7-time winner of the King of the Mountains jersey, reported by

With six high mountain stages and four hilltop finishes, the 2011 Tour de France route is tailor-made for three-time champion Alberto Contador — if he’s not banned for doping. –Samuel Petrequin, AP

It came as a massive shock, we had no warning. I have decent french now and I was following it and I had one of those, ‘what did he just say?’, moments. It could be the best thing that has ever happened to me, it could be the worst. I really haven’t been able to form an opinon yet. -Sprinting phenom Mark Cavendish on the Tour’s new sprint points system, as told to the Telegraph

Everyone loves the Tour! But then, everyone says that. Every year. Last year, when the route was announced, the riders almost universally praised it…Come July, what will really happen? A few broadstroke predictions, accompanied by your standard Boulder Report guarantee (hat tip to TMQ for the inspiration): all predictions will be wrong, or your money back.Joe Lindsey for Bicycling

What do you think of the new route?

–Erin Beresini

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