The route for the 2012 Tour de France has been confirmed, beginning with a prologue in Liege, Belgium on Saturday 30th June and ending in Paris three weeks later.
The route was leaked last week and in Paris on Tuesday race organisers the Amaury Sport Organisation confirmed the 21 days of racing that will unfold shortly before the London 2012 Olympics.
The route is not as mountainous as it has been in recent years, and includes two individual time trials - one on Stage 9, from Arc-et-Senans to Besancon (9th July) and the penultimate Stage 19, Bonneval to Chartres on Saturday 21 July.
Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins, who finished third in the Vuelta a Espana this year, is sure to target the individual time trials as he seeks to improve on his fourth-placed Tour de France finish in 2009.
But the 2011 champion Cadel Evans of BMC-Racing Team, whose stunning display in the final time trial on this year's Tour secured his victory, will be doing exactly the same.
Wiggins will be joined at the British-based Team Sky by record-breaking sprinter Mark Cavendish, who has won 20 Tour de France stages since 2008 and won the world championship road race in Copenhagen in September.
The race includes two summit finishes instead of three, so fewer chancer for the pure climbers to gain time on the rest of the field.
The first of the summit finishes come on Stage 7 and the ski station at La Planche des Belle Filles, an altitude of 1,148m.
The second summit finish comes in Les Sybelles on Stage 11, a stage that begins in Albertville and takes in the legendary climbs up the Cols de la Madeleine and de la Croix de Fer.
Stage 17 brings the third and final summit finish at Peyragudes. The 52km time-trial on Saturday July 21st, between Bonneval and Chartres, may settle the race.
Saturday 30th June Prologue Liege > Liege 6.1km
Sunday 1st July Stage 1 Liege > Seraing 198km
Monday 2nd July Stage 2 Vise > Tournai 207km
Tuesday 3rd July Stage 3 Orchies > Boulogne-sur-Mer 197km
Wednesday 4th July Stage 4 Abbeville > Rouen 214km
Thursday 5th July Stage 5 Rouen > Saint-Quentin 197km
Friday 6th July Stage 6 Epernay > Metz 210km
Saturday 7th July Stage 7 Tomblaine > La Planche des Belle Filles 199km
Sunday 8th July Stage 8 Belfort > Porrentruy 154km
Monday 9th July Stage 9 Arc-et-Senans > Besancon 38km
Tuesday 10th July Rest Day
Wednesday 11th July Stage 10 Macon > Bellegarde-sur-Valserine 194km
Thursday 12th July Stage 11 Albertville > La Toussuire - Les Sybelles 140km
Friday 13th July Stage 12 Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne > Annonay Davezieux 220km
Saturday 14th July Stage 13 Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux > Le Cap d'Agde 215km
Sunday 15th July Stage 14 Limoux > Foix 192km
Monday 16th July Stage 15 Samatan > Pau 160km
Tuesday 17th July Rest Day
Wednesday 18th July Stage 16 Pau > Bagneres-de-Luchon 197km
Thursday 19th July Stage 17 Bagneres-de-Luchon > Peyragudes 144km
Friday 20th July Stage 18 Blagnac > Brive-la-Gaillarde 215km
Saturday 21 July Stage 19 Bonneval > Chartres 52km
Sunday 22 July Stage 20 Rambouillet > Paris Champs-Elysees 130km
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