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Tour de France 2007

Follow along each day on GreatOutdoors.com as renowned race photographer Beth Schneider covers the 94th Tour de France with daily photos and dispatches.
By GreatOutdoors Staff - July 5th, 2007

Follow all the action from the 2007 Tour de France this July as GreatOutdoors.com correspondent Beth Schneider documents the race and provides daily commentary. A renowned photographer, whose images have appeared in Outside, Sports Illustrated, Bicycling Magazine and many other magazines, Schneider will send new images every day reflecting both the racing action and the crazy social circus that is the Tour de France.


Schneider has been photographing the Tour de France for almost two decades, so no journalist is more experienced at bringing the race to life through images.


"I think the reasons why I keep going to the Tour continue to change," she said. "In the beginning I think it was curiosity--and a chance to prove myself as a photographer. That part I think always remains. It's also nice working and living in France. As for the race itself, the camaraderie with the other photographers and journalists is really great even though we're competing with each other. It's a little bit like summer camp for grown-ups."


"But in the end," Schneider says, "the real reason I come back is the fact that shooting the Tour is incredibly challenging, and there's always something else I want to shoot or try to shoot in a different way."


What will 2007 hold for the famous race?



"My picks for last year were Basso or Landis," laughed Schneider, "so what do I know? One thing for sure, It's going to be really interesting this year. We'll see if the police will be raiding hotel rooms like in 1998. I understand that the race is trying to fight the doping problem, but I don't know that they're handling it all too well. It seems to be pretty selective who is being looked at hard and who is getting a pass. I kind of think the past needs to be let go, and they should come up with better strategies for the future."
As for this year's contenders, here are the riders Schneider thinks have the best shot:

 

  • Dave Zabriskie, American, races for Team CSC
  • Andreas Kloden, German, racing with Astana
  • Alexandre Vinokourov, Kazakastan, racing for Astana, a Spanish team
  • Carlos Sastre, Spanish, Team CSC
  • Frank Schleck, Luxembourg, rides with Team CSC
  • Cadel Evans, Australian, rides for Lotto
  • Alejandro Valverde, Spanish , Caisse d'Epargne
  • Levi Leipheimer, American, the Discovery team
  • Oscar Pereiro, Spanish, rides for Caisse d'Epargne


"I'm thinking those are the guys should make the top 10 provided they make it past the team presentation the Friday night before the race and don't crash out anywhere along the way."


Running from Saturday July 7th to Sunday July 29th 2007, the 94th Tour de France will be made up of a prologue and 20 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,550 kilometers.
The 20 separate stages of the race break down like this:


  • 11 flat stages
  • 6 mountain stages
  • 1 medium mountain stage
  • 2 individual time-trial stages


Distinctive aspects of the race

  • 3 mountain finishes
  • 2 rest days
  • 117 kilometres of individual time-trials (including the prologue)
  • 21 Category 1, Category 2 and highest level passes will be climbed

Beth Schneider's photos and dispatches will begin on GreatOutdoors.com on July 7 as the Tour de France begins from London.

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