The race is only 48 hours away from the Alps, and this stage and the following one to Lyon see increasingly hilly terrain. Only a couple of the climbs on this 196km stage have categories, but this is by no means a simple “flat” stage.
7/10/2003 Start Time: 12:35:00pm
7/10/2003 Estimated Finish Time: 5:30:00pm
While the Tour men of 2003 will have raced 811.5km (the prologue and five stages) to reach Nevers, the 60 pioneers of the first Tour came through Nevers only halfway through their opening stage of 467km from Paris to Lyon. In 1903, Nevers was one of the race control points where the racers — riding in ones and twos spread over a couple of hours — checked in with officials toconfirm their positions in the race. Most of them probably stopped for a snack and quick wash before continuing on their near-20-hour stage toward Lyon. Nevers didn’t become a stage town in its own right until 1962; the most recent of its three winners was the Italian sprinter Guido Bontempi in 1986.