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Dauphiné Libéré Parcours, Invites Announced

Dunno why this is well below the fold at the CN notes, but the Dauphiné Libéré announced its route and teams yesterday. On the teams side, Agritubel is the most conspicuous exclusion, but the rest of the Pro Tour is coming. Astana is expected to make this its next stop on the Revenge Tour with Leipheimer and Contador both ready to do battle.

Meanwhile, head over to the Official Site for all the data, including some nice grainy old video. The English pages seem curiously French, but the stage profiles pretty much tell the story. Stage five goes over the fearsome Col du Joux-Plane, the first hors-categoire ascent after the previous day's smaller entries. Stage six goes 233km over the Col de la Croix de Fer, the second H.C. climb, and finishes atop the Cat-1 La Toussuire -- making this the queen stage. Stage 7 ascends three more cat-1 and cat-2 climbs before a long downhill run to Grenoble.