With just 100 days to go until the 100th edition of the Tour kicks off on Corsica, Porto-Vecchio, the backdrop to this weekend's Critérium International, is marking the date with the start of a countdown.
Thanks to one of the calendar's serendipitous quirks, the symbolic countdown from D-100 to the start of the Tour de France was launched on Corsica, where the eyes of cycling are focused on this weekend's Critérium International. Riders were not the only ones flocking to Porto-Vecchio, where they were joined by future spectators who can already see themselves watching the first three stages of the hundredth edition of the Tour. A tent set up a stone's throw away from the city hall is hosting the Corsican stage cities for a series of activities throughout the afternoon. Bastia, Ajaccio, Calvi and Porto-Vecchio, already hard at work on all the aspects of the event, got to show their thirst for cycling, as explained by Paul Giacobbi, the President of Corsica's Executive Council: "Corsica is raring to go! With 100 days to go until the Tour, this is our dress rehearsal before it all gets started."
Another man who is working on the final touches is Christian Prudhomme, who is thrilled by "this historic opportunity for the Tour de France to gift all its lovers a three-day sequence of spectacular racing. Our stay on the island shows that the main players have risen to the challenge of the event: this year's Critérium International has attracted the pretenders to the crown of the Tour". Indeed, this is the place to be for riders with any ambition. Chris Froome, Cadel Evans and Andy Schleck are here to get a feel for the Corsican roads during the three-stage race, where they will come up against other up-and-coming stars such as Andrew Talansky, Pierre Rolland and Tejay Van Garderen.
100 Days To Go Until The 2013 Tour: All Fired Up!
Jersey wearers after the stage 21
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These five riders have won sprint stages of the 100th Tour de France. Of these five, who do you think will win in Paris?
- Marcel Kittel14.93%
- Simon Gerrans1.08%
- Mark Cavendish54.21%
- André Greipel5.5%
- Peter Sagan24.28%