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COURSE: This is a flat course that uses some of the roadsof Paris-Tours, with a run along the Loire Valley at the end. If there’sno wind, this stage could see a 50 kph average speed.
FAVORITES: With this stage marking the end of the first week of racing, the teammates of the top sprinters will be starting to get tired, while others will have dropped out because of crashes.
In other words, some of the “other” sprinters like Olaf Pollack or Jean-Patrick Nazon might get their chance in Angers.
HISTORY: Angers has seen 14 stage finishes, but none since 1979.That year, Dutchman Jan Raas surprised the pure sprinters to beat out FrenchmanJacques Esclassan and Irishman Sean Kelly. Angers is also the city wherethe first-ever Tour de France prologue took place, in 1967.
On July 10, 1951, in an 85km time trial to Angers, the timekeepers mis-timedHugo Koblet by a minute. When corrected, he won the stage by 59 seconds.So excited was he by his first-ever Tour stage win, he woke up at 2 a.m.to eat a chicken dinner.
Starts: 1 (1999)
Finishes: 14 (1936-50-51-54-56-60-63-66-67-70-72-76-77-79)