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2011 Tour De France Route: Stage 17 Marks Beginning Of Race Through The Alps

The 2011 Tour De France is set to enter its four-day grueling Alps portion of the race before the final ride through Paris on the final day of the race. After Thor Hushovd led the cyclists through the finish line at Gap on Tuesday, they will pick things up in Gap for the start of Stage 17. After 179 km (111 mi) on this stage, the riders will finish the day in Pinerolo, a town in the Turin area of Italy.

But before the race reaches Italy, there are five climbs that must be overcome. The first one doesn't come until the 71st kilometer at Côte de Sainte-Marguerite, a Category 3 ascent. The sprint portion comes right before another Category 3 climb. There is no rest after that as the Category 2 comes at Col de Montgenèvre. It's a 7.9 km climb, but hardly the challenge that Sestrières will be, a Category 1 climb for 11.1 km. The Côte de Pramartino awaits them shortly before they reach Pinerolo.

The move into Italy comes after Col de Montgenèvre. To see that transition, make sure you tune into VERSUS at 6 a.m. MT.

Thomas Voeckler holds a 1:45 lead over Cadel Evans in the general classification category after a tough race on Tuesday. American Tom Danielson remains in ninth place with a 6:04 gap.

For in-depth coverage of the race, visit out cycling blog, Podium Cafe, and our SB Nation StoryStream.