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Stages of the 2012 Tour de France

A detailed look at the prologue and 20 stages of the 99th edition of the Tour de France, to be held June 30 to July 22. Included is commentary from Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme, former five-time winner Bernard Hinault, and several professional riders set to compete in this year's race. —AFP
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Stage 1, July 1, Liege to Seraing: 198km

"As of stage one and throughout the whole first week we'll be seeing the main favorites in action, even if it's seeing one of them getting out of breath, or losing 20secs to rivals," said race director Christian Prudhomme. With a slightly uphill finish that will prove too difficult for the sprinters, he hopes to replicate the successful opening stages of 2008 (Brittany) and 2011 (Vendee). "Punchers" like Cadel Evans, Philippe Gilbert, Alejandro Valverde, or Joaquim Rodriguez, are well suited to this stage, which is also technical in the finale.

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