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Tour de France Exclusively Live On TG4
23 Jun 2005 :

TG4 has announced it will broadcast exclusive live coverage in Ireland for Tour de France, the most famous race in cycling. Viewers will be able to follow the Tour live on TG4 from July 4th to July 24th and track the unfolding drama each day.

The Irish language channel will offer an average of three hours of live coverage each day as well as a 30 minute highlights package every night that will include previews, cyclist profiles, results and reports.

Welcoming the announcement TG4 Sports Editor Rónán Ó Coisdealbha said; "We are thrilled to be adding yet another major international Summer sports event to the TG4 portfolio. This is the third major sports rights deal we have announced in the past two months and will ensure that Irish viewers have free to air access to the world's most famous cycle race".

The 92nd Tour de France will begin in Noirmoutier in the Vendée, on Saturday 2 July. It is an epic undertaking as the riders cycle some 3,607 kilometres in 21 stages, across northern France, into Germany and the Vosges, then turning south for the crucial stages in the Alps and the Pyrenees. It is here, on the famous peaks and passes - Madeline, Courchevel, Galibier - that the outcome of the Tour is usually decided. After their mountain exploits, the 2005 Tour riders will head north for a vital time trial in St Etienne and then on to the usual festival atmosphere for the final hurrah down the Champs Elysées in Paris.

The 190 riders will be contending for prize money totally 3 million with 400,000 going to the winner. Lance Armstrong has won the Tour de France every year since 1999 - a record six consecutive victories - but the 33 year old Texan has announced that he is retiring after this year's Tour. Cyclists like Jan Ullrich, Andreas Kloden, Alejandro Valverde and Damiano Cunego will be hoping to challenge Armstrong for his Tour crown.



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