Tour de France preview: Stage 8

Today the peloton shall be known as The Riders of Rohan! (Yes, I’ve been waiting for this stage, because we pass through the  beautiful town of Rohan – it’s the little things.)

Saturday 11th July: Stage 8 – Rennes to Mûr de Bretagne, rolling, 181.5km

Stage 8 profile: Tour de France 2015

It’s a lumpy day out in the tough, rugged region of Brittany. This route is hard with very little flat respite and finishes with a real sting in the tail at the cat 3 Mûr de Bretagne. 2km at an average of 6.9% sounds bad enough, but the start of the climb is 10%. It’s one for the puncheurs, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the GC guys have a pop too. This is the last time finish line bonus seconds come into play. Could Sagan finally take a win? Forth Eorlingas!

To make matters trickier, it’s a technical approach with a very tight left hand at about 5km and a nasty right turn into the start of the climb. Expect a fierce battle for position as teams look to set their men up, and let’s hope the rubber stays on the tarmac. This region is the heartland of French cycling, and there are many Bretons in the peloton who would love to be in the breakaway, none more so than local team Bretagne-Séché Environment. And who knows, with the team trial tomorrow, perhaps this will be day the break makes it.

Link: Official race website

Header image: Les Saucisses by Martin Burns – https://www.flickr.com/photos/martinb/808408081/

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