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The Winner Of The Tour De France Will Be Decided In A Football Stadium

The Winner Of The Tour De France Will Be Decided In A Football Stadium
By Daniel Kelly

The Tour de France concludes on Sunday afternoon, but the winner will be all but decided in Marseille on Saturday evening.

Chris Froome holds a 23-second lead over France's Romain Bardet, with Colombia's Rigoberto Uran a further six seconds behind. A time-trial will decide the winner in Marseille, with Stage 20's start-line and finish-line among the most unusual in recent memory of the race.

The time-trial begins and ends only yards apart, with each of the 167 riders cycling in and out of the Stade Velodrome, home of Olympique de Marseille.

Cyclists will ride out of the north-east corner of the stadium, before the 22.5 km route around the French city, will see them arrive back in the south-west corner around 30 minutes later.

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Marseille's Velodrome has a history of cycling in the stadium, but not in recent memory. When the stadium was first built, the pitch was surrounded by a cycling track, but it was fully removed in the 1980s, after the initial demolition began in 1971.

Ahead of Euro 2016, the stadium was redeveloped, and now holds almost 70,000 seats, most of which will be filled when the likes of Froome, Bardet, Uran and Dan Martin enter the stadium.

Team Sky's Luke Rowe was the first to complete the course. He compared the atmosphere to that in ancient Rome.

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It's a great feeling to be welcome in a stadium like a gladiator.

Whoever wins Stage 20, they will have thousands of fans cheering them in the final 100 metres as they hit a wall of noise.

It will make for some stunning pictures.

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