Tour de France 2020 | Stage 19 (Bourg-en-Bresse - Champagnole, 166.5 km)

Transitional stage time. Normally this would be the last chance for a breakaway... now it's probably the last chance for Sagan (and Trentin) to keep the green jersey battle alive.

Map


Profile



Timetable
Neutralised start: 13:30
Start: 13:45
Côte de Château-Chalon: 15:34/15:39/15:45
Intermediate sprint: 16:22/16:29/16:37
Finish: 17:27/17:37/17:48

Climbs
There's a false-flat ramp just after the start of which I don't have a profile, it should be a bit over 2k at 3-4%. Aside from that, the opening half of the stage is mostly flat, until the only categorised climb of the day, the cat. 4 Côte de Château-Chalon.

The second half of the stage is a rolling loop around Champagnole, and most of it is on narrow roads. Once again, the intermediate sprint comes just after an easy (although very much categorisable) climb.

Shortly after, the route climbs to reach the highest point of the day.


Finish
A tricky, and arguably dangerous, finish. There's a steep dig that tops out with about 18k to go, although the highest point of the finale comes 1.5k later. From here, it's mostly a narrow, sinuous descent all the way until 3.5k to go. It's decent terrain for attackers, but also a less-than-safe environment to set up a sprint if it comes to that. Let's hope we don't get a big crash this late in the Tour.




General classification after Stage 18
  1. Primoz Roglic
  2. Tadej Pogacar + 0.57
  3. Miguel Ángel López + 1.27
  4. Richie Porte + 3.06
  5. Mikel Landa + 3.28
  6. Enric Mas + 4.19
  7. Adam Yates + 5.55
  8. Rigoberto Uran + 6.05
  9. Tom Dumoulin + 7.24
  10. Alejandro Valverde + 12.12
Points classification after Stage 18
  1. Sam Bennett 298
  2. Peter Sagan 246
  3. Matteo Trentin 235
  4. Bryan Coquard 171
  5. Caleb Ewan 158
Mountains classification after Stage 18
  1. Richard Carapaz 74
  2. Tadej Pogacar 72
  3. Primoz Roglic 67
  4. Marc Hirschi 62
  5. Miguel Ángel López 51
Young riders classification after Stage 18
  1. Tadej Pogacar
  2. Enric Mas + 3.22
  3. Valentin Madouas + 1.35.35
  4. Daniel Felipe Martinez + 1.51.32
  5. Lennard Kämna + 2.10.21
 
Under normal circumstances you'd say it would be a bunch sprint.

However, being the last real stage in the Tour, for a whole bunch of teams without a win, and all the sprinter teams being tired after a tough Tour, I could see a break take this stage.

Further I would question whether DQ and Lotto will compromise Asgreen, Cavagnas and De Gendt's chances on the TT, by burning them up running down a break, which will make it even more likely a break makes it.

My prediction is a big break, with Bennett, Sagan and Trentin all in it, which will break up after the intermediate sprint, and a group of 4-5 goes to the finale.
 
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What a strange tour when I'm looking forward more to these innocuous, random transitional stages than the big mountains and enjoying the first hour of these stages more than the last.
it turns out that if you can actually get a real competition for green, the contestants will go berserk at each other. it’s the saving grace of this tour and would be an incredible addition to a Tour where the main GC battle is actually interesting.
 
it turns out that if you can actually get a real competition for green, the contestants will go berserk at each other. it’s the saving grace of this tour and would be an incredible addition to a Tour where the main GC battle is actually interesting.
Yes and no. If there's a contest for green between riders with different capabilities (a better climber vs a better sprinter) then they go berserk on these stage-long battles.

If this was a contest between regular sprinters who can't climb, (Bennett v Ewan v Ackerman v Groenewegen) it would literally only matter at the actual sprint points. It might be a bit more interesting if it was a shootout between all-rounders (Sagan v Trentin v vanAert v Bling), but even then there'd be a lot of sitting up after each intermediate, as opposed to keeping the foot down after getting separation.
 
It ruined Valverde's race that one time, and you want to screw with everyone else's?
Well it's Paris-Roubaix, there's reason it has the nickname "Hell of the north". Yes snow ruined Valverde's LBL one year. However, I'm not sure snow would effect the top cobbled riders as much as it effects a Spaniard who from south eastern Spain and thinks it's cold when the temps reach around 20 C. Remember Cancellara always wanted to race Paris-Roubaix in the rain. They're racing la Vuelta in Oct into Nov and a lot of Spaniards are expecting snow in the mountains for that.
 
Yes and no. If there's a contest for green between riders with different capabilities (a better climber vs a better sprinter) then they go berserk on these stage-long battles.

If this was a contest between regular sprinters who can't climb, (Bennett v Ewan v Ackerman v Groenewegen) it would literally only matter at the actual sprint points. It might be a bit more interesting if it was a shootout between all-rounders (Sagan v Trentin v vanAert v Bling), but even then there'd be a lot of sitting up after each intermediate, as opposed to keeping the foot down after getting separation.
Sure, it does have to be balanced between the two broad types. And even then, the more bunch sprint biased contestant has to be a good climber by bunch sprinter standards or there would be no real suspense about where he could be dropped. Then it would just be about doing basic addition and comparing the points available with and without major obstacles. It’s not as if the ASO wouldn’t prefer a big fight every year, it’s hard to arrange. But if it can be arranged it’s fun...
 
Sure, it does have to be balanced between the two broad types. And even then, the more bunch sprint biased contestant has to be a good climber by bunch sprinter standards or there would be no real suspense about where he could be dropped. Then it would just be about doing basic addition and comparing the points available with and without major obstacles. It’s not as if the ASO wouldn’t prefer a big fight every year, it’s hard to arrange. But if it can be arranged it’s fun...
All very true.

I think it's funny that this year, the year everyone was saying "there's only 4 or 5 real bunch sprints in the profile," is the year that Sagan is finally under pressure for the green jersey, from a bunch sprinter, and we've actually had 6 bunch finishes, plus 1 late breakaway who came in 15s ahead of a 50-strong peloton, and 2 flat stages to go.
 
Normally this would go for the break but I feel like CCC and Bora are gonna keep the break in check and in the end we are gonna see Trentin vs WvA vs Sagan.
 
Normally this would go for the break but I feel like CCC and Bora are gonna keep the break in check and in the end we are gonna see Trentin vs WvA vs Sagan.
Bennett has wins in stages with tougher profiles than this, in the Giro, Vuelta, and Paris-Nice. Now, against that, none of those races had the depth of punchy sprinter that this Tour field has, and nobody then had a specific cause in those races to pressure him specifically and try to drop him early. But I just think I wouldn't outright discount the possibility of him hanging on over the climbs in this stage, with nothing over 5%, and that never for more than a km or so.
 
Bennett has wins in stages with tougher profiles than this, in the Giro, Vuelta, and Paris-Nice. Now, against that, none of those races had the depth of punchy sprinter that this Tour field has, and nobody then had a specific cause in those races to pressure him specifically and try to drop him early. But I just think I wouldn't outright discount the possibility of him hanging on over the climbs in this stage, with nothing over 5%, and that never for more than a km or so.
You also have to count the fatigue from the mountain stages.
 
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I will have family roadside and watch for them. Roads around Champagnole are not flat, pavement is grainy, had Cosnefroy not burned so much he could have marked that stage. Not as easy as it looks on the paper for sprinters.
I went to a wedding at the chateau in Syam many, many moons ago; I think we stayed in a terrible hotel in Chaux des Crotenay, so I'll be looking out for all that.

In those mid/late-2000s, pre-smartphone, early-GPS times, most of us were relying on the came-with-rental-car Garmins and Tomtoms, which didn't account for the road closures due to downed trees after some storms in the area. When we got into town the night before, it turned out half the guests were still scattered about in random parts of the Jura; the last got in long after midnight, and longer after their hotel had stopped checking people in for the night.

The roads were skinny, and while I didn't get to ride them, I don't remember any of them being flat. If any non-mountain day on this Tour really should be a day for the break, this one has to be it.
 

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