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July 15, 2005
Course: There is only an early cat. 4 climb on this transitionalstage across the Midi between the Alps and Pyrénées, so it’sa rare chance for the sprinters to come to the fore. A choppy 20km finishingcircuit awaits the peloton in the streets of Montpellier, where there’sa short, 200-meter-long finish straight.
History: No less than 24 stages have finished in Montpellier.The latest was in 1994, when Dane Rolf Sørensen took the honorsin a two-man break with Aussie Neil Stephens.
Favorites: The tight finish should see attacks by the likes ofFlecha and Erik Dekker in a bid to trump the Aussie sprinters Cooke, AllanDavis, McEwen and O’Grady.