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Tour de France 2017 Stage 15: Laissac-l'Église - LePuy

Stage 15 of the Tour de France is played out on a hilly route in Massif Central. At 189.5 kilometres, the riders race from Laissac-Sévérac l'Église to Le-Puy-en-Velay. A good day for attackers.

After leaving Laissac Sévérac l’Église the riders head for the Massif Central. After some 20 kilometres the Montée de Naves d’Aubrac looms, an 8.9 kilometres climb at 6.4%, before an 8 kilometrs section on a plateau travels to the modest Côte de Vieurals, which is 3.3 kilometres at 5.9%.

After almost 100 kilometres on rolling roads the finale is ushered in by a drop. For starters a flat section of about 10 kilometres and then the riders hit the toughest climb of the day. The Col de Peyra Taillade is an 8.3 kilometres ascent at 7.4%. The first 4 kilometres are doable with an average gradient of 6%. But then the ramps go of up to 14% before the climb flattens out in the last kilometres.

The pass lies at an elevation of 1,190 metres and after cresting the route travels steadily down, with two minor hick-ups – Côte de Saint-Vidal and a small uphill section in Polignac. That last hill is on the menu with 5 kilometres to go, while Saint-Vidal is a KOM climb of 1.9 kilometres at 6.8%.

Today it’s the fourth time the Tour de France arrives in Le Puy-en-Velay. The victor will step in the shoes of Giuseppe Guerini (2005), Pascal Richard (1996) and Dominique Forlini (1954).

Map:-
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Profile:-
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KoM:-

Km 28.5 - Montée de Naves d'Aubrac (1 058 m)8.9 kilometre-long climb at 6.4% - category 1

Km 43.5 - Côte de Vieurals3.3 kilometre-long climb at 5.9% - category 3

Km 158.0 - Col de Peyra Taillade (1 190 m)8.3 kilometre-long climb at 7.4% - category 1

Km 176.5 - Côte de Saint-Vidal1.9 kilometre-long climb at 6.8% - category 4

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Laissac-Sévérac l'église

Well before welcoming the Tour de France, the village of Laissac earned its notoriety as a famous mountain-bike site. The event already had a link with the Tour de France thanks to Jean-Christophe Péraud. Before climbing on the podium of the 2014 edition, the Frenchman had indeed climbed on the one of the Roc Laissagais. He's even the undisputed master of the event with five victories there. Last June, it was also in Laissac that the marathon mountain-bike World Championships were held.

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Le Puy-en-Velay

People go on a pilgrimage to Le Puy-en-Velay since the Middle-Age, but it wasn't before 1954 that the coloured ribbon formed by the peloton of the Tour came for the first time. At the footstep of the Notre-Dame de France statue, dominating the city, Dominique Forlini had triumphed after a long breakaway. The last stage finish in the Préfecture of Haute-Loire was back in 2005. Among the four escapees inspired by the day's stage, Italian Giuseppe Guerini proved to be the smartest. He maneuvered in the final kilometres with the finesse of the renowned lacemakers of the city.


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Current GC:
1 FROOME CHRISTOPHER 1 TEAM SKY 59H 52' 09''
2 ARU FABIO 51 ASTANA PRO TEAM 59H 52' 27'' + 00' 18''
3 BARDET ROMAIN 11 AG2R LA MONDIALE 59H 52' 32'' + 00' 23''
4 URAN RIGOBERTO 188 CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM 59H 52' 38'' + 00' 29''
5 LANDA MIKEL 6 TEAM SKY 59H 53' 26'' + 01' 17''
6 MARTIN DANIEL 105 QUICK - STEP FLOORS 59H 53' 35'' + 01' 26''
7 YATES SIMON 89 ORICA - SCOTT 59H 54' 11'' + 02' 02''
8 QUINTANA NAIRO 21 MOVISTAR TEAM 59H 54' 31'' + 02' 22''
9 MEINTJES LOUIS 61 UAE TEAM EMIRATES 59H 57' 18'' + 05' 09''
10 CONTADOR ALBERTO 31 TREK - SEGAFREDO 59H 57' 46'' + 05' 37''
 
A strong break will form on the first climb. It looks like a day for a breakaway, but if a GC contender shows signs of weakness, it could explode in the final part (AG2R are the most likely to try and take advantage, by sending people in the early break).

A day for Cummings to stretch his legs after a couple of days in the peloton.
 
Probably this one is for the break, although with a rest day and soft stage coming up it is possible someone try something.

Assuming it's the break, I like Benoot and Calmejane.

It will be interesting to see how Sky handles the stage. I realise it's likely they just form a train and very little happens, but there is another possibility that would be spectacular if it came off ...

First, put Kwiatkowski in the break. Then, once they get to the Col de Peyra Taillade, rather than simply drilling it with with Landa on the front, they attack with him (he is possibly the strongest climber right now) and bridge to Kwiatkowski, leaving Aru, Bardet and Uran isolated and having to chase, with Froome just following wheels. With Kwiatkowski's strong form and immense descending skills, it would not inconceivable that Landa could be in yellow by day's end.

Unlikely, I know, but one can hope.
 
Re:

Zoetemelk-fan said:
Just a grumpy note to the OP. In respect of often visited Le-Puy-en-Velay, it looks a bit too "smart" calling it "LePuy".

I hope you will ignore such pedantry Silvergrenade.

I for one am grateful for any opening post (let alone one as good as this) particularly when one had not been created only about seven hours from race start.
 
Re: Re:

The Barb said:
Zoetemelk-fan said:
Just a grumpy note to the OP. In respect of often visited Le-Puy-en-Velay, it looks a bit too "smart" calling it "LePuy".

I hope you will ignore such pedantry Silvergrenade.

I for one am grateful for any opening post (let alone one as good as this) particularly when one had not been created only about seven hours from race start.

I agree... People unnecessarily criticising stage thread post is what puts people off creating them. Thanks OP
 
I think the break will make it today. I would love to see de Gendt taking his win. A lot of classics cocontenders should try to get in the break like Matthews, GvA, Gilbert. In the end, it might be too steep for them to hang on, though.
I think these kind of riders going into the break is more likely than a few teams controlling all day again.

Long story short: Emanuel Buchmann for the win!
 
Re:

silvergrenade said:
Defo a breakaway stage.
GVA, Stevo favourites for me.

Can GC action happen today?
Personally Aru looked weak yesterday....
Sky should use Landa & Froome to break him today..
I think it's a classic stage in which sky control GC action and let the break win (probably). Like the Millar stage in 2012. But sky in this tour haven't been racing like normal so I don't know; maybe Froome or Lands will attack. I assume the latter as Froome is really struggling to drop anyone with his attacks
 

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