Stage Three of the Tour De France will make it’s first ever run through Wanze, Belgium. The 213 kilometer stage will include a rough and arduous ride over cobblestones. The Tour De France will include cobblestones for the first time since 2004 and will make stage three the most important stage of week one of the Tour De France.
Cobblestone roads will lead to a variety of issues for the world’s best riders, from equipment issues to possible injuries as a result of falls on the rough roads. There will be a total of 13.2 kilometers of cobblestones on this Tour De France stage and it could be critical in determining the rider wearing the yellow jersey after the first week.
Wanze hosts the Tour De France for first time.
The Belgian city of Wanze that is hosting the Tour De France for the first time, is a city that has re-invented the itself as an eco-tourism destination. Wanze added walking trails that wind their way through the city sites, which include a feudal castle and the Cycle Museum which houses 180 cycles dating back as far as 1830.
Stage Three of the Tour De France begins with a slight, 124 meter ascent at the 35 kilometer mark and reaches a height of 148 meters before descending to flatter conditions and hitting the cobblestones. The 213 kilometer stage will wind it’s way through some of the more rural areas of Belgium before concluding at the Arenberg Trench.
Arenberg Trench section pays tribute to Paris-Roubaix.
The Arenberg Trench is normally a section used in the Paris-Roubaix. The Arenberg Trench is the location of the most brutal cobblestone section the riders will face known as, “Drève des Boules d’Hérin”. The finish could be exciting as the riders jockey for position to win the early Tour De France stage.
The city where the finish is located is Arenberg Porte du Hainaut. The city is also in transition as a possible film location and is also considered an eco-tourism spot just like Wanze. The city is home to 150,000 residents and utilizes walking trails, pony trails and mountain biking trails to drive tourism to their area.
Rider already preparing in advance for Tour De France cobblestone section.
Lance Armstrong prepared for the cobblestone sections of the Tour De France by riding in the Tour De Flanders in April. Armstrong’s appearance in the Tour De Flanders with his new Radio Shack team, symbolized his tough preparation schedule ahead of the Tour De France in July. See the full story of Armstrong’s preparation highlighted on the Road Cycling website.
Defending Tour De France champ Alberto Contador has enlisted the help of coach for cobblestone section.
Alberto Contador is taking the cobblestone section in Stage Three of the Tour De France seriously but he does not fear them after working with his coach Belgian Peter Van Petegem. Contador worked through the cobbled sections in late April to be prepared for the rough road conditions early in the Tour De France.
Contador was quoted by the website Velonation in his press conference, “He (Van Petegem) gave me a lot of advice on how to ride on the (cobblestones) and about the material. In these two days I learned more about the (cobblestones) than I have in my whole life. His advice will be very important.”
Stage Three of the Tour De France will take place on July 6th and will be shown in it’s entirety on Versus, channel 603 on DirecTV. Versus will again be covering every aspect of the Tour De France, for a full schedule click here.
Tour De France website: Stage details and times.
Road Cycling website: Lance Armstrong Does Cobblestones, Ahead of Tour De France.
VeloNation website: Contador Has Respect for Cobblestones Not Fear.