The Essentials

■ Bourg lès Valence hosts a Tour stage for the first time. So does Sisteron.

■ There are 11 towns in the 2010 Tour hosting the race for the first time: Wanze, Arenberg, Gueugnon, Tournus, Station des Rousses, Sisteron, Bourg lès Valence, Bourg de Péage, Pamiers, Pauillac and Longjumeau.

■ Bourg lès Valence is part of the larger town of Valence, which hosted a Tour stage in 1996. It also crossed the Cabre, but also five other climbs, and was won by Columbian Chepe Gonzalez.

■ Today's stage is, on paper, one of the easiest of the Tour. Like stages three and four, it's only got one climb, but there's also a net descent of 350 metres from start to finish.


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