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Il Tour?!

Apparently the Tour de France will roll out its route Thursday, and CN already has a brief narrative description of the route. VN has it too, as well as the following surprising bit:

According to reports in the Italian media, a summit finish to Pratonevoso in northwest Italy near Cuneo is expected to be included as part of the 2008 Tour route.

The Tour does dip into Italy for an occasional stage finish, but apparently they'll even have a rest day in Cuneo. This is a bit more generous toward Italy than the Tour tends to be; while it shares the grand depart with most of its other neighbors, Italy is left to its own world. Fair enough, for any number of reasons, but the stopover in Cuneo is a subtle nod to the great Coppi-Bartali battle of 1949. Cuneo was the starting point of a massive 250km stage to Pinerolo where Coppi put some 20 minutes into the field to salt away the Giro, via Briancon BTW.

Anyway, Thursday's gala should be relatively calm and free of shattering mirrors, conspiracies, and rivalries with the UCI. In other words, a rare moment of fun. It's another travel day for me, but I'll chime in after the World Series.