What's Cool In Road Cycling

Lotto Belisol: Preview Tour de France: The route, part 2

After a first day of rest, in Saint-Nazaire, the Tour will pick up again on Tuesday 9th of July. The tenth stage starts in Saint-Gildas-des-Bois and finishes 197 km further in Saint-Malo. On the way the Tour caravan will pass through the military training camp of Coëtquidan. Looking at the route, with only one hill of fourth category far away from the finish, it looks like it will be a bunch sprint that will decide who takes the win.

A day later there will be an individual time trial for the first time this Tour. The riders will start in Avranches for a ride of 33 km. The finish is at a unique location: the Mont-Saint-Michel. In the twelfth stage it will be up to the sprinters again, because there isn’t a single climb in the 218 km between Fougères and Tours. In that city the next stage will start, which has only one climb of fourth category in the middle, but less than ten kilometers from the end the road goes uphill for a while. At that point there will definitely be attempts to avoid a sprint.

Next the Tour visits Lyon, where the first stage ever of the Tour de France finished. That started on 1st of July 1903 in front of café ‘Réveille Matin’ in the Paris suburb Villeneuve-Saint-Georges. After that day 467 kilometers out of 2428, spread over six stages, would be covered. There are seven hills in this 14th stage, two of third and five of fourth category, on the route of 191 km which starts in Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule. In the final 16,5 km the Côte de la Duchère and Côte de la Croix-Rousse, both of 4th category, succeed one another fast. The top of this last climb is 9,5 kilometers before the finish.

On Quatorze juillet, the French national holiday, it will be double feast, because then the 15th stage arrives on the Mont Ventoux. It’s also the longest stage of this 100th Tour: 242,5 kilometers. Very early in the stage there are three hills of fourth category and one of third in the middle. This to warm up before the climb to the top of the Mont Ventoux. This climb hors catégorie that starts in Bédoin is 20,8 kilometers long and has an average gradient of 7,5%. Someone from the early breakaway might celebrate or the favourites will battle for the stage win as well.

Week 2

1st Rest day: Monday 8th of July: Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique)

Stage 10: Tuesday 9th of July: Saint-Gildas-des-Bois – Saint-Malo (197 km)

Stage 11: Wednesday 10th of July: Avranches – Mont-Saint-Michel (33 km) (ITT)

Stage 12: Thursday 11th of July: Fougères – Tours (218 km)

Stage 13: Friday 12th of July: Tours – Saint-Amand-Montrond (173 km)

Stage 14: Saturday 13th of July: Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule – Lyon (191 km)

Stage 15: Sunday 14th of July: Givors – Mont Ventoux (242,5 km)

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