Located twenty kilometres east of Nice, facing the Mediterranean Sea, on the Côte d’Azur (French Riviera), the Principality of Monaco, with a surface area of 2 square km, is the second smallest State in the world after the Vatican City. Divided into ten districts, including Monte-Carlo, the central district, Monaco has a population of 32,000.
Independent since 1297, this constitutional monarchy is governed by the sovereign Prince Albert II of Monaco since 2005.
The presentation of the teams participating in the 2009 Tour de France will take place on Thursday the 2nd of July.
The Port Hercule (Hercule Harbour) will host the start and the finish of the first stage on Saturday the 4th of July, and then on Sunday the 5th of July, the official ceremony and the start of the second stage.
The organisation HQ and the press centre will be set up at the Grimaldi Forum, 10, avenue Princesse Grace, on the course of the first stage, close to the red flame signalling the final kilometre.
Open from Wednesday 1st of July at 2.30 pm.
From the 1st of July, special arrangements will allow accompanying people access to Tour de France facilities.
Albert DE MONACO & Christian Prudhomme - © A.S.O.
“I am delighted to announce that the 2009 Tour de France will start from Monaco. The Principality had the pleasure, a very long time ago, of seeing the Tour de France pass through the town, in 1964 for the last time. Forty five years later, we will have the honour of hosting the start of this unique adventure.
This selection rewards the efforts of the Principality in developing and promoting sport in Monaco.
Cycling is an extreme sport, one of the most testing, both physically and mentally. To reach the highest level requires qualities like courage, determination and perseverance. Those who have had the honour of wearing the yellow jersey can testify to the passion, the commitment and the surpassing of one’s limits needed to succeed in this venture.
An ever-increasing public eagerly follows this fabulous sporting competition, now a phenomenon of society.
Beyond attachment to the competition’s champions, the public has adopted as its own this legendary event that honours the countryside, the towns and, as is the case this year, the neighbouring countries it visits.
A stimulus, fuelling performance and emotion, the Tour has always moved with the times, even though this may mean being tainted by its evils. I would like to praise the intransigence of the organisers who assumed the measures required to preserve the nobility of this sport.
There are still several months to go before this event takes place, but the announcement has already roused the enthusiasm of the entire Monegasque population. I am convinced that the 2009 Tour de France will reinforce the already close link between Monaco and France.”
Albert DE MONACO
The announcement is scarcely official, but already a particular aura of enchantment surrounds the start of the 2009 Tour. We know that the Tour de France Start from Monaco will be a landmark event. The prestige of the Principality together with its location and geography confirm this.
After the official presentation of the riders, the magnificent setting of the Rock will be the site of the opening test – a fifteen kilometre time trial whose course will in part follow the twists and turns of the most famous Formula 1 circuit in the world. This stage will be a sporting challenge with physical and technical virtues called upon to counter the rising and falling landscape. Aesthetically speaking too this leg promises to be a splendid one, with the Mediterranean as a backdrop in an environment of stunning natural beauty. Thank you to His Serene Highness Prince Albert II for allowing us to bring to fruition an idea submitted to Philippe Amaury on the Champs Élysées, in Paris, at the end of the 2005 Tour.
The launch of the 2009 Tour from Monaco will be especially appreciated as starts from the south are rare. Indeed, the competition has only set off four times from the south in thirty years and only once from the south-east: in the neighbouring Alpes-Maritimes region, in 1981, when Bernard Hinault dominated the race from the outset on the prologue in Nice, heralding a magnificent come-back, one year after his knee failed him on the foray into the Pyrenees.
Along with a truly memorable visit to London and a route through Brittany next summer imprinted with fervent affection for the Tour, the Start in Monaco reflects the powerful influence of a monument of sport: its universal appeal. And with applications from France and neighbouring countries, the official candidature of the state of Qatar and the contacts established this autumn, at their request, by Scotland and Japan, confirm the Tour’s extraordinary magic.
Director of Tour de France
15 km time-trial course (including 7 in Monaco and 8 in France).
“The start will be launched from boulevard Albert 1er. The riders will set off at one minute intervals over the first hectometres of the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit. After 150 metres on the flat, they will attack a long climb up to km 7,200. With an initial uphill slope of 500 metres at approximately 6% then 200 metres of flat at the passage in front of the casino. The Formula 1 circuit will then be abandoned for a steeper section which will culminate, at km 1,250, in a passage at 10%, followed by a succession of slight inclines on boulevard Princesse Charlotte and boulevard Jardin Exotique before leaving Monaco at km 3,200 to join the second highest cliff road (the Moyenne Corniche).
At Km 7,200, on the Moyenne Corniche, the race route reaches its highest point (207 metres) before a long downhill slope with a U-turn in Roquebrune which will take the riders back to Monaco on flat ground until the Saint-Roman crossroads. We are at km 11,500. Another downhill section to a hairpin bend facing the sea and the riders will be on a final stretch of 2,5 kilometres of flat ground bordering the Mediterranean and the Grimaldi Forum where the organisation HQ and the press centre will be set up.
At the Portier crossroads, at km 13,800, the riders will return to the course of the Grand Prix circuit. At km 14, there will be a tunnel for 110 metres then the quai des États-Unis to return to the harbour and the finishing line situated route de la piscine, close to the Rainier III Water Sports Stadium.”
The official ceremony to mark the start of the 96th Tour de France will take place on the Monaco Grand Prix circuit. The riders will then proceed along a large portion of the circuit and its legendary sites (la Rascasse, Sainte-Dévote, the Casino, Mirabeau,…) in order to take the Eastern exit out of the Principality at the Saint-Roman interchange.
The official start of the second stage, Monaco - ?????, will be launched from km 4.
© Presse Sports
In 1964, the cinder track of the original Louis II stadium was the backdrop to one of the epic Anquetil versus Poulidor battles. An episode narrated by Pierre Chany in “La fabuleuse histoire du Tour de France” (La Martinière publications):
“With an eye on the finish, Anquetil moved into first position, aware of the difficulty of overtaking the leader on the “rings” of a flat track. Nevertheless, Poulidor managed to thrust his way forward on the inside. He sprinted for the finish line and raised his hands in victory. Stunned, he saw Anquetil race past him without stopping, the rush of other riders in his wake! The Limousin rider had misread his road sheet. The arrival of the riders at the Louis II stadium marked the start of the finishing circuit: another lap remained. He’d let himself be duped by memories of the Tour d’Espagne where a fraction of a lap at the finish makes all the difference. At the second crossing of the finish line, Anquetil, still in first position, obtained the one minute bonus!”
… And at the finish in Paris, following further spectacular feats, including the legendary climb of the Puy de Dôme, Jacques Anquetil gained his fifth Tour de France victory… a mere 55 seconds ahead of Raymond Poulidor.
|stage 12||Saint-Raphaël > Monaco||121,5 km (2e demi-étape)||Maurice ARCHAMBAUD||René VIETTO|
|stage 13||Monaco > Monaco||101,5 km||Pierre GALLIEN||René VIETTO|
|stage 14||Monaco > Digne-les-Bains||175 km||Maurice CLOAREC||René VIETTO|
|stage 12||Sestrières > Monaco||251 km||Jan NOLTEN||Fausto COPPI|
|stage 13||Monaco > Aix-en-Provence||214 km||Raoul RÉMY||Fausto COPPI|
|stage 16||Marseille > Monaco||236 km||Wim VAN EST||Jean MALLÉJAC|
|stage 17||Monaco > Gap||261 km||Wout WAGTMANS||Jean MALLÉJAC|
|stage 9||Briançon > Monaco||270 km||Raphaël GEMINIANI||Antonin ROLLAND|
|stage||Monaco > Marseille||240 km||Lucien LAZARIDÈS||Antonin ROLLAND|
|stage 9||Briançon > Monaco||239 km||Jacques ANQUETIL||Georges GROUSSARD|
|stage 10||Monaco > Hyères||187,5 km (1re demi-étape)||Jan JANSSEN/td>||Georges GROUSSARD|
© Presse Sports
© Presse Sports
© Presse Sports
The Monte-Carlo Car Rally, in January.
In the heart of winter, it marks the launch of the World Rally Championship. The rally starts and finishes in Monaco but the main part of the race takes place on the mountain roads of the Alps.
The Monte-Carlo Tennis Masters Series tournament, in April.
The first great competition of the hard court season is launched from the legendary setting of the Monte-Carlo Country Club and attracts top world tennis players each spring.
The Monaco Grand Prix, in May.
The one and only race of its kind, the circuit winds its way through the streets of the city. The Monaco GP is a landmark event on the calendar of the Formula 1 Motor Racing World Championships.
The International Swimming Meeting, in June.
The Olympic pool at the Rainier III Water Sports Stadium receives a glittering line-up of champion swimmers for this stage of the Mare Nostrum swimming tournament.
The Monte-Carlo International Show Jumping competition, in June.
Organised at the Port Hercule (Hercule Harbour), it is one of the events of the Global Champions Tour, a world tour approved by the International Equestrian Federation. Leading world riders participate.
The Herculis Meeting, in July.
A Super Grand Prix status athletics meeting: the best athletes from around the world compete at the Louis II Stadium.
The European Supercup, in August.
This is a football match between the winners of the Champions League and the winners of the UEFA Cup. The game is played at the Louis II Stadium.
The Iron Man 70.3, in September.
A triathlon race: 1, 9 km of swimming, 90 km of cycling, and 27, 1 km of running, the equivalent of 70, 3 American miles.
First Division football, throughout the football season.
AS Monaco competes in the national French Championships. The club with the red and white striped shirts has won seven championship titles, five French Cup titles, one League Cup. It has also participated in two European finals in 1992 and 2004.
Cycling in Monaco
Founded in 1985, the Cycling Federation of Monaco is affiliated to the International Cycling Union. The Principality’s club, the Cycling Union of Monaco, which recently celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, has 135 members and six disciplines: road, mountain bike, BMX, track, cyclo-cross and trial. It organises notably the Monaco Criterium in March and the Jean-Luc Schopf Trophy in June.