Tour de France 2020 | Stage 10 (Ile d’Oleron / Le Chateau d’Oleron) – Île de Ré / Saint-Martin-de-Ré, 168,5 km

After a rest day, the second week of le Tour begins with a fairly short stage designed exactly as a “typical TdF flat stage” usually is. Stage profile and map are below:





Starting location is Ile d’Oleron, the second biggest (after la Corse) French island, close to the Atlantic coast. Shortly after the start, the riders will pass the bridge viaduc d'Oléron and they will reach the continent. Then, they will do a long circuit around the town of Marennes, firstly heading south-south east along the ocean coast, later on going north through the department of Charente-Maritime, coming back to Marennes. From that point on, the route goes either in a close proximity of ocean or directly next to the ocean coastline, traversing the historical towns of Rochefort and La Rochelle.

Then, around 15 km before the finish line, the peloton will travers almost 3-km long bridge Pont de l’Île de Ré:



Interestingly, the finish line in Saint-Martin-de-Ré is located not in the town itself, but in a wide open area outside the historical city center.

Intermediate sprint: Chatelaillon-Plage, 129,5 km

GPM: none (this is the only stage of this year’s TdF which features not a single categorized GPM).

Prediction:
Most likely a typical bunch sprint stage (if no crosswinds, echelons and main group splits will happen). As per the latest weather forecast, no strong wind is expected (NNE 13 km/h, wind gusts 22 km/h).

Trivia:

- this is possibly the first ever stage of le Tour de France which starts and ends on two different islands;
- the starting location is very close to Fort Boyard, a fortress built in the 19th century and emerging directly from the ocean, where a popular TV game show was set and filmed (I liked it a lot when I was kid in the 90s).
 
This is actually one of the stages of this years Tour that I've been looking forward to the most. The scenery should be beautiful, but unfortunately it doesn't look like we'll get the wind that would really make the stage spectacular.
 

Here's a map of the finish. Three roundabouts between 3k and 1k to go and then another at the right-hander at 200m from the line, I hope they've paved it over. Most of the roads in the finale are in the open, the weather forecast is a real shame...
 
To be fair, iirc that region of France just usually isn't that windy. I think week 1 was always more likely to have echelons.

That said, some parts tomorrow seem to be so exposed that if a team goes for it the wind might still be strong enough to create some gaps.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Aug 17, 2020
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It could also just be a normal flat stage which there are 5+ of each year...
But unlikely the organizers planned it as a normal flat stage. With this route they had to be thinking cross wind challenges which now look unlikely. Maybe the wind gods will let out a prolonged shart right before the stage to conjure up what was hoped for.
 
Reactions: 42x16ss
Sorry to say, but the forecast sounds like a lovely summer day:

25 degrees, clear skies, light wind (13 kph) from north and north east.

If that holds up, it means light headwind for the first 140 k.

The only slight chance of crosswinds, is after La Rochelle when they turn west for the last 25 k, but wind will still have to pick up quite a bit from the forecast, to have any real effect.

With DQ, Lotto, Bora, JV, UAE and Sunweb all wanting a bunch sprint, I don't see much else than that happening.
 
But in terms of the parcours, this is a terrible stage, as you shouldn't be reliant on Mother Nature for racing action, and the day/s after a rest day are pretty much the best for potential GC changes imo. Therefore this should have been an ITT or difficult mountain stage.

It's just a nice coincidence that the riders gave us such great racing on the weekend, that we can do without too much action today. Doesn't excuse the course design.
 
If the wind is anything more than a gentle sneeze, DQS and Bora will be salivating like hungry wolves. Then TJV and Ineos will be wanting to join the party, I suspect Roglic and particularly Bernal want time on Pogačar and Quintana wherever they can get it.

Otherwise it's just Ewan vs Bennett in a snoozefest
 

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