The 2009 Tour de France was the 96th edition of the Tour de France, one of cycling's Grand Tours. It started on 4 July in the principality of Monaco with a 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) individual time trial which included a section of the Circuit de Monaco. The race visited six countries: Monaco, France, Spain, Andorra, Switzerland and Italy, and finished on 26 July on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
The total length was 3,445 kilometres (2,141 mi), including 93 kilometres (58 mi) in time-trials. There were seven mountain stages, three of which had mountaintop finishes, and one medium-mountain stage. The race had a team time trial for the first time since 2005, the shortest distance in individual time trials since 1967, and the first penultimate-day mountain stage in the Tour's history.
2007 winner Alberto Contador won the race by a margin of 4′11″, having won both a mountain and time trial stage. His Astana team also took the team classification. and supplied the initial third-place finisher, Lance Armstrong. Armstrong's achievement was later voided by the UCI in October 2012 following his non-dispute of a doping accusation by USADA, and fourth place Bradley Wiggins was promoted to the podium. Andy Schleck, second overall, won the young riders' competition as he had the previous year. Franco Pellizotti originally won the polka dot jersey as the King of the Mountains, but had that result (along with all his 2009 results) stripped by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2011 due to his irregular values in the UCI's biological passport program detected in May 2010. Mark Cavendish won six stages, including the final stage on the Champs-Élysées, but was beaten in the points classification by Thor Hushovd, who consequently won the green jersey.
The Tour de France (French pronunciation: [tuʁ də fʁɑ̃s]) is an annual multiple stage bicycle race primarily held in France, while also occasionally making passes through nearby countries. The race was first organized in 1903 to increase paper sales for the magazine L'Auto; it is currently run by the Amaury Sport Organisation. The race has been held annually since its first edition in 1903 except for when it was stopped for the two World Wars. As the Tour gained prominence and popularity the race was lengthened and its reach began to extend around the globe. Participation expanded from a primarily French field, as riders from all over the world began to participate in the race each year. The Tour is a UCI World Tour event, which means that the teams that compete in the race are mostly UCI ProTeams, with the exception of the teams that the organizers invite.
Along with the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España, the Tour makes up cycling's prestigious, three-week-long Grand Tours. Traditionally, the race is usually held primarily in the month of July. While the route changes each year, the format of the race stays the same with the appearance of at least two time trials, the passage through the mountain chains of the Pyrenees and the Alps, and the finish on the Champs-Élysées. The modern editions of the Tour de France consist of 21 day-long segments (stages) over a 23-day period.