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July 11 post: The Tour resumes on Tuesday will a pleasant, rolling-hilly stage meandering south from Aurillac to Carmaux, a small town just north of Albi in the Tarn/Cévennes region. More generally, the finish is northeast of Toulouse. Along the way to Carmaux, until recently a coal mining town and now a first time Tour host, are four minor categorized climbs along rivers on quiet back roads which, as usual, you can explore above in google earth and streetview.

There are numerous twists including two sharp turns leading into the slightly downhill finish in Carmaux. HTC-Highroad will be chasing to setup a sprint finish while Europcar defends its first day with the Yellow Jersey. The undulating and twisting roads of this stage will favor a break. — Steve