- Aug 31, 2014
Friday, July 8th • Stage info • Startlist • Roadbook • Rules • Weather: Start, Halfway, Finish
Starts at 13:15 - Live video from 14:15 - Finish at 17:20 (CEST) • Live ticker • Livestreams
Mountain passes & hills:
Km 117.0 - Côte de Capvern 7.7 kilometre-long climb at 3.1% - category 4
Km 155.5 - Col d'Aspin (1 490 m) 12 kilometre-long climb at 6.5% - category 1
Current GC standings:CyclingQuotes.com said:One of the most highly anticipated days of the entire cycling season is the first big day in the mountains at the Tour de France. Due to the French geography, ASO have often postponed the first big battle between the climbers to a relatively late point in the race as it has often come after the first rest day. One of the notable features in this year’s race is that the three days in the Pyrenees already come in the first week, starting with the short, intense stage 7 that brings the riders into the Pyrenean heartland. As it is often the case for the first mountain stage at the Tour, it is a classical stage with a long, flat run and one big climb in the end. There may not be a mountaintop finish but as the famous Col d’Aspin is followed by just a short descent to the finish at Lac de Payolle, this is the day when we will get the first indication of who’s going to win the Tour.
At just 162.5km, the stage from L’Isle-Jourdain to Lac de Payolle is relatively short. As usual for the first Pyrenean stage, the first part will see the riders complete the journey to the foot of the mountains as they travel along flat roads in a southerly and southeasterly direction. After an easy start, the terrain gradually gets lumpier but the real climbing only starts after the feed zone in Tournay at the 105.5km mark. Here the riders will hit the bottom of the category 4 climb of Cote de Capven (7.7km, 3.1%) which will bring the riders to a flat plateau.
The flat terrain comes to an abrupt end when the riders have contested the intermediate sprint at the 137km mark – a relatively straightforward sprint that is only very slightly uphill. After just a few more kilometres of flat roads, the riders will turn to the west to head up the famous category 1 climb of Col d’Aspin. It averages 6.5% over 12km but it can be split into two. The first 4km are relatively easy but then the gradient gets tougher and in the final 5km, it stays above 7.5% for most of the time.
The summit is located just 7km from the finish and this final part will be fast. The first part of the descent isn’t very difficult but then several hairpin turns in the final part will lead the riders to the final 1200m which are slightly uphill. The first 1000m average 4% and then it level out for the final 200m. This final section follow a long, straight, 5m wide road that only has a very slightly bend with 600m to go.
The riders may have had a first chance to test their climbing legs in Massif Central but stage 5 was not really suited to attacks from the GC riders. This is the first stage where the best riders can really attack each other and this is the day when they will all learn about their chances in this year’s race. In the past, the best riders have often had a cautious approach to the first mountain stage but with the emergence of Chris Froome, things have been different. The Brit may be trying to peak a little later in this year’s race but if recent history can be used as an indication, we can expect the defending champion to attack already in this stage. There may not be an uphill finish but the Col d’Aspin comes so close to the finish, that it’s almost like a mountaintop finish. Of course a good descender can take back some time in the final part but the design of this stage should allow the best climbers to open the first significant time gaps in this year’s Toure de France.
Lac de Payolle has not hosted the finish of a major bike race for more than a decade.
Withdrawals Stage 6:
198 of 198 riders remain in the race - for the first time in history at the start of stage 7.
← Stage 6 Thread • Stage 8 Thread →