- Aug 31, 2014
Wednesday, July 13th • Stage info • Startlist • Roadbook • Rules • Weather: Start, Halfway, Finish
Starts at 13:50 - Live video from 14:15 - Finish at 17:30 (CEST) • Live ticker • Livestreams
Mountain passes & hills:
Km 38.0 - Côte de Minerve 2.4 kilometre-long climb at 5.4% - category 4
Km 57.0 - Côte de Villespassans 2.3 kilometre-long climb at 4.5% - category 4
CyclingQuotes.com said:The long journey between the Pyrenees and the Alps in the second week of the race always mean that the sprinters have at least one opportunity in between the major climbs. While the stage to Revel may have been a bit too hard for some of them, they will all be keen to flex their muscles in the traditional stage to Montpellier that very often features on the course in between the major mountains. However, the flat terrain doesn’t mean that it will be an easy day for the GC riders as the area is famously known for its windy conditions and there will be lots of teams on the outlook for a chance to split the field to pieces.
At 162.5km, the stage between Carcassonne and Montpellier is relatively short. Bringing the riders in a northeasterly direction all day, it is a typical transitional stage. This part of France is mainly flat so there won’t be many challenges when it comes to the terrain. The category 4 climbs of Cote de Minerve (3.4km, 5.4%) and Cote de Vilespassans (2.3km, 5.4%) at the 38km and 57km marks respectively, will be the only chance to test the climbing legs on a day that offers very few metres of climbing.
While they continue along flat roads, the riders will contest the intermediate sprint at the 113.5km mark. It won’t offer many challenges either as it is flat and straight. From there, they will follow an almost direct route to Montpellier where a flat finale awaits them. There won’t be many technical undulations as the riders will take the final turn with 2200m to go. Then the 6km road only bends slightly to the left and the final 500m are completely straight. There is a very small 500m climb of around 2-3% just after the flamme rouge but the final 500m are flat.
This is one of the final chances for the sprinters before Paris so they won’t miss out. With lots of high-level sprinters here, they should make sure that the early break will have no chance. However, the stage is likely to be very stressful and nervous as Montpellier is famously known for the Mistral wind. In 2005, Astana blew the race to pieces here and in 2013, the stage was so nervous that there wasn’t even a breakaway for more than 100km. However, everybody will be very attentive so the wind has to be very strong to really do some damage. The most likely outcome is a very big bunch sprint in Montpellier.
Montpellier is a regular feature on the Tour de France course. It last hosted a stage in 2013 when André Greipel took his only win at that edition. Two years earlier Mark Cavendish was the fastest while Astana won a memorable, technical team time trial in 2009. In 2007, Astana split the field in crosswinds before Robert Hunter became the first African to win a stage in a reduced bunch sprint. In 2005, Robbie McEwen emerged as the fastest in another bunch kick.
Current GC standings:
Withdrawals Stage 10:
DNF: LANGEVELD, Sebastian (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team)
LANGEVELD (CPT) RENSHAW (DDD) LADAGNOUS, PINEAU (FDJ) MØRKØV (KAT) CONTADOR (TNK)
192 of 198 riders remain in the race.
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