Saturday 4th July 2009
All sports lovers should note down this date in their diaries immediately. In the heat of a summer afternoon, the Tour de France will be setting off from Monaco. This event undoubtedly marks one of the great moments in the Principality’s history of contemporary sport. It is the meeting of two legends. That of the Tour de France, a hundred-year old race and the Principality of Monaco, one of the greatest sports capitals in the world. The first stage, a 15 km individual race against the clock, will take place on a section of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco circuit.
The individual race against the clock:
The race will start on boulevard Albert I from where the racers will set off at minute intervals. From that moment, the race will feature: 150 metres on flat ground, a long and steep slope up to km 7.200 (first 500 metres at a 6% incline, 200 metres of flat ground riding past the Monte Carlo Casino), a 10% incline at km 1.250, a series of “faux-plats” on Boulevard Princesse Charlotte and at the Exotic Garden level. At km 3.200, the cyclists will leave Monaco for the Moyenne Corniche. The event, lasting approximately 4 hours, should win the enthusiasm of the tens of thousands of expected fans.
At 4 p.m. the 188 cyclists will set off for a lap in the streets of the Principality, followed by the French towns of Cap d'Ail, Beausoleil, la Turbie and Roquebrune Cap Martin in the Maritime Alps, before coming back via the Country Club and the Larvotto, for an arrival in style in Port Hercule.
In a nutshell, the best sportsmen in the business will be competing for the yellow shirt of the “Grande Boucle” 2009 over a demanding and risky course, the perfect cocktail for “strong men” both climbers and flat racers.
The following day, the second stage, on Sunday 5th July, the group will set off from the starting line heading towards Brignoles in the Var. Symbolic start at the Rascasse, passing in front of Sainte Dévote, avenue d’Ostende, then the official start in place du Casino. They will then cycle out of the Principality on the eastern side towards the Saint Roman interchange, heading towards Nice and the west of the Maritime Alps.
Presentaion of the teams
On 2nd July 2009, two days before D-Day, the teams will be officially presented to the press and the public. For the teams, this will be a dress rehearsal in a party atmosphere, between the publicity caravan and the musical entertainment. For the spectators, it will be a unique opportunity to approach their favourite champions.
Logistics to impress:
The Permanence - the Tour's nerve centre - and the press centre will be set up in the Grimaldi Forum. They will be located on the circuit of the first stage, near the “red flame”, the symbol representing the final kilometre. The Permanence will officially open its doors in the early afternoon of Wednesday 1st July. 4500 individuals are expected – the media, publicity caravan, organisers and sponsors – and among them 650 journalists from around the world.
This “city in movement” which moves at each stage of the Tour, will include 3800 m2 of offices equipped with 700 electrical links and 500 work stations. In addition, a privileged access itinerary will enable followers to join Tour facilities as of 1st July.
The “Grand Départ” of the 96th Tour de France from the Principality will mark a milestone. The geographical characteristics of Monaco and its international reputation lead us to expect that the event will leave its mark on people's minds. Even more so in that the event will revolve around two of the Principality's strong points: conviviality and safety. The event, due to its impact and prestige, will further reinforce the already existing solid ties between France and the Principality.
A few figures:
188 cyclists; 22 cyclist teams.
170 caravan vehicles
Between 150 000 and 200 000 expected visitors,
350 million TV viewers,
6500 places in stands K,
North harbour of Port Hercule,
4500 accredited individuals including 650 journalists,
3800 m2 of offices equipped with 700 electrical links and 500 working stations,
6 countries crossed
France, Monaco, Spain, Andorra, Switzerland, Italy,
8 new stop-over towns,
20 passes of 2nd, 1st and out of category,
15 kilometres in the individual race against the clock for the 1st stage, including 7 km in the Principality and 8 on French territory.