It’s the day after the rest day after a gruelling first week. So what fireworks do the organisers have for Bastille Day? Oh, just an HC summit finish in the Pyrenees. #StayAlert
Tuesday 14th July: Stage 10 – Tarbes to La Pierre-Saint-Martin, high mountains, 167km
The day after a rest day is always a bit of a crap-shoot for the riders. Some rest up and come out firing on all cylinders. Some rest up and find that they’ve left their oomph in the hotel. That’s worrying enough if it’s a rolling stage or medium mountains, but we have a summit finish on the HC Col de la Pierre-Saint-Martin, which from the French side is a new climb for the Tour. So they’ve not been given any favours on this stage.
There’s about 150km of fairly innocuous riding – only three cat 4 climbs spread throughout – before they get down to business for the 15km climb to the finish. Although the average gradient is 7.4%, take a look at the profile below: the start of the climb starts at 8% then into nearly 11% in its second kilometre. It doesn’t really get any easier until 4km from the top where they have a little respite, but the final kilometre is back up to 7%. French climbers will want to bring glory to the tricolore on Bastille Day but the GC guys will be super-sensitive to each other and that could spoil the French celebrations.
This stage sets up the next two weeks for the GC – we’ll see who rested well and who didn’t, who’s climbing well and who’s missing their edge. And there are two more stages in the high Pyrenees before they transition across the hot, hot, hot Massif Central.
Link: Official race website
Header image: Town hall of Tarbes (via Wikipedia)
Interesting stage to throw in after a rest day I think. Surely we can expect regular attacks from the usual French suspects on Bastille Day, including a gloriously futile dart from Tommy V…for the cameras?