No, this is not Waterloo, this is Corsica.
The number 13 may be bad luck but ASO boss Christian Prudhomme is taking La Grande Boucle to Napoleon Bonaparte’s birthplace. The brilliant military strategist and emperor would not doubt put his money on Johan Bruyneel and his RadioShack Leopards. It’s just one of those genius-love things.
Historical side question — could skinny little Andy Schleck have ever have survived Napoleon’s disastrous retreat from Russia in the dead of winter with no down jackets or warm team cars? Unlikely.
Jens Voigt and Fabian Cancellara would have made it back to France but the Brothers Schleck would have frozen to death before they made it to the border. They would have died side by side, covered in snow but nicely dressed. They would have looked even worse than Napoleon Dynamite trying to jump a bike.
The 100th edition of Le Tour will head to the Mediterranean island for three stages. The titillating threesome looks like this: bunch sprint into Bastia. Nice alliteration, Monsieur Prudhomme! Then stage two is a cadeau for the climbers with a triple col shot of the Col de Bellagranajo (723m), Col de la Serra (807m) and Col de Vizzavona (1,163m) and then Monte Salario as the anaerobic dessert.
Finally, stage three promises another hard day in the saddle with climbs of the Col de San Bastiano (415 m), the Cols de Lava (498 m), de Palmarella (374 m) and de Marsolino (443 m). Napoleon would do all those stages on a horse but since he’s dead we don’t really need to factor him into the race.
However, you can get this image above with Napoleon on a beach cruiser on a snazzy t-shirt right here and you’re good to go to the opening tour stages.
2013 Tour de France in Corsica:
Saturday June 29: Porto-Vecchio – Bastia, 200 km
Sunday June 30: Bastia – Ajaccio, 155 km
Monday July 1: Ajaccio – Calvi, 145 km