July 20, 2005
Course: At 239.5km, this is the longest stage of the 2005 Tour. There’s rolling terrain throughout, but the key to victory could be the closing 12km loop at Revel, which includes the Cat. 3 St-Ferréol climb 7km from the finish line.
History: The last two times that a stage has finished in Revel, two-man breakaways have arrived to contest the finishing sprint. In 1995, it was Sergej Uchakov who outthought a youthful Lance Armstrong, while in 2000, on an almost identical course as this year’s, Erik Dekker got the better of Santiago Botero.
Favorites: Long-distance specialists like Rabobank’s Dekker, Cofidis’s O’Grady, CSC’s Jakob Piil and Voigt, Liquigas-Bianchi’s Magnus Bäckstedt or Bouygues Télécom’s Voeckler are the riders most likely to shine on this transitional stage.