This is an article from the June 16, 2003 issue
MONTGERON -- LA FERTE-SOUS-JOUARRE
JULY 6, 99 MILES
The first stage of the Tour begins at exactly 3:16 p.m., as it
did a century ago, in front of where Au Reveil Matin cafe once
LA FERTE-SOUS-JOUARRE -- SEDAN
JULY 7, 121 MILES
The flat, early stages will belong to sprint specialists such as
Australia's Robbie McEwen (above left) and Germany's Erik Zabel.
CHARLEVILLE-MEZIERES -- SAINT-DIZIER
JULY 8, 99 MILES
What incentive might Lance Armstrong have to make an early burst?
To match Eddy Merckx (above), who twice won eight stages in a
JOINVILLE -- SAINT-DIZIER
JULY 9, 42 MILES
Look for top teams such as ONCE, Telekom and USPS (above) to make
their first significant move in the team time trial.
TROYES -- NEVERS
JULY 10, 122 MILES
Expect plenty of bubbly fans: Troyes, the onetime capital of the
Champagne region, is laid out in the shape of a champagne cork.
NEVERS -- LYON
JULY 11, 143 MILES
As the Alps draw near, the riders tackle the longest stage of the
2003 Tour, which is the seventh shortest in history.
LYON -- MORZINE
JULY 12, 141 MILES
Let the attrition begin: This is the first of the seven dreaded
mountain routes, which contain 21 Grade 1, 2 or hors categorie
SALLANCHES -- L'ALPE D'HUEZ
JULY 13, 131 MILES
Only Fausto Coppi (above), in 1952, and Armstrong, in 2001, have
won the vaunted L'Alpe d'Huez and the Tour in the same year.
BOURG D'OISANS -- GAP
JULY 14, 115 MILES
This will likely be the Tour's wildest stage, if only because it
falls on Bastille Day, France's most important (and festive)
GAP -- MARSEILLE
JULY 15, 121 MILES
Thought Lance (above) was the King of the Mountains? Actually,
France's Richard Virenque has won the award five times since '93.
NARBONNE -- TOULOUSE
JULY 17, 99 MILES
Toulouse was one of the six cities visited on the original 1903
Tour, along with Paris, Lyon, Marseilles, Bordeaux and Nantes.
GAILLAC -- CAP DECOUVERTE
JULY 18, 30 MILES
Briefly back on flat land, expect a fierce duel between
time-trial specialists Armstrong and Jan Ullrich (above).
TOULOUSE -- PLATEAU DE BONASCRE
JULY 19, 123 MILES
Laggards on the steep climbs face the ominous sight of the
voiture balai, or broom wagon, which sweeps up dropouts.
SAINT-GIRONS -- LOUDENVIELLE
JULY 20, 119 MILES
Riders climb the Col du Portet d'Aspet and pass the memorial to
Fabio Casartelli, an ex-Armstrong teammate, who died in a '95
BAGNERES DE-BIGORRE -- LUZ-ARDIDEN
JULY 21, 99 MILES
The painful trip up the infamous Col du Tourmalet, a 10-mile
grind to the third-highest point on the course; the average
PAU -- BAYONNE
JULY 23, 123 MILES
On July 16, a week before the pros arrive, 8,000 amateur cyclists
are permitted to ride this route in an event known as L'Etape.
DAX -- BORDEAUX
JULY 24, 103 MILES
The brutal climbs are over; so too, perhaps, is the race: Since
'99, Armstrong has never exited the mountains without le maillot
BORDEAUX -- SAINT-MAIXENT-L'ECOLE
JULY 25, 124 MILES
A sprint over the flat terrain of this renowned wine region
typically offers more idyllic views than it does 11th-hour drama.
PORNIC -- NANTES
JULY 26, 30 MILES
The last rider to trail after the penultimate stage (this year
held as a time trial) and win the Tour was Greg LeMond (above),
VILLE-D'AVRAY -- PARIS
JULY 27, 99 MILES
The leader's team takes the peloton into Paris and completes one
lap (of 10) on the Champs Elysees loop before the real racing