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The Reuters global sports blog

Prepare for Pyrenees classic in 2010 Tour de France



One hundred years after first featuring on the Tour map, the Pyrenees could be the scene of a classic battle between Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong.

Tour de France organisers unveiled the route for next year’s race here in Paris on Wednesday, with four stages, including a gruelling 16th stage with four daunting climbs, to be held in the mountains that form the border between France and Spain.

Defending champion Contador sounded pretty pleased with the prospect.

“The route is better than last year’s because there are more mountains,” Contador told reporters. “Finishing with the Tourmalet is great for me,” he added, referring to the last mountain stage which ends at the top of the 2,115-metre high Col du Tourmalet.

The three-week race over almost 3,600km will start with an 8km prologue in Rotterdam before heading into the heartland of cycling — Belgium.