Tour de France Tour de France 2021, Stage 10: Albertville – Valence, 190.7 km

Apologies for this being late, I thought I had posted it already.
Stage 10: Albertville – Valence, 190.7 km
Another transitional flat stage. There’s a chance of Bora/Bahrain making life hard for the likes of Cavendish at the intermediate sprint or echelons towards the end in the Rhône valley, though.

Map and profile




Route details
The first quarter of the stage is very easy, then the riders reach the first non-flat roads of the day, in the shape of the easiest climb in the Chartreuse: Col de Couz.



This backs into the easy side of Col de la Placette, with the intermediate sprint of the day being at its summit.



The uncategorised climb later on is probably harder than Couz. Any possible windy sections start just after it (but it looks to be a headwind for most of them), so it may matter for positioning. Or maybe Bora or Bahrain start pushing here regardless?



The route heads southwest from here until 10 kilometers to go, then turns north to reach the finish. The wind looks to be blowing from the west, so the section from 10 kilometers to 8 kilometers to go should be the best for echelons.

Final kilometers




The finish line is where it was in 2018 and 2015, with stage wins for Peter Sagan and André Greipel respectively. The approach is similar to the latter stage, with the final 3.1 kilometers being identical.


Just inside the final 5 kilometers, there’s a double roundabout. Both sides are open, but the right one looks to be a bit shorter.



There’s just over a kilometer to move up, then there’s the following two roundabouts which only have the left side open. The narrowing ahead of the second one is obviously key.





After this, there’s a big right-hander onto the 2015 route at 3.1 kilometers to go. From here, it’s pretty straightforward until the final key point, a big right-hander (technically a roundabout) at 350 meters from the line as seen in the video above. As you can see, it doesn't actually narrow into a single lane to my knowledge, contrary to what some previews are saying.
 
Unfortunately Sagan doesn't seem too interested in the fight for green, but it's hard to say if he has given up entirely. Regardless, Bora might still be interested in joining the effort to try and drop Cav for good on one of those climbs. I'm not sure if they are hard enough to drop him for good though, especially considering the excellent support he has in QS.

If Cav is not there at the finish, anyone can win really, with the strongest being Philipsen and Bouhanni on paper. Don't think this goes to the break, unless it is quite strong. If Cav is there QS can pull it back as usual, otherwise the pace by Bora/Bahrain should be enough to control it.
 
Bikeexchange might wanna join the fun as well. Basically the "B-Teams". Though, I'm not sure about how interested Bora will be; Sagan is pretty far behind.
I will never believe in Bling and so forgot about BE's interest in the competition :D

Sagan's struggled but it's still a chance of a stage win if Cav is distanced given the field is hardly that strong, and making it hard on each climb is probably better for him than a one and done tilt.
 
Unfortunately Sagan doesn't seem too interested in the fight for green, but it's hard to say if he has given up entirely. Regardless, Bora might still be interested in joining the effort to try and drop Cav for good on one of those climbs. I'm not sure if they are hard enough to drop him for good though, especially considering the excellent support he has in QS.

If Cav is not there at the finish, anyone can win really, with the strongest being Philipsen and Bouhanni on paper. Don't think this goes to the break, unless it is quite strong. If Cav is there QS can pull it back as usual, otherwise the pace by Bora/Bahrain should be enough to control it.
Yes, I never even considered that. All three climbs are tough enough to drop Cav. As you said, the problem is keeping him dropped. If he's distanced by 15 seconds on the final climb with 40kms to the finish, that's not cutting it.
 
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Yes, I never even considered that. All three climbs are tough enough to drop Cav. As you said, the problem is keeping him dropped. If he's distanced by 15 seconds on the final climb with 40kms to the finish, that's not cutting it.
Yep. So I think he will be there unless some teams are willing to make the race really really tough. Would Bora do that if Sagan is not guaranteed a win and doesn't care that much about green? What about Bahrain/BE, considering Colbrelli and Matthews have never shined in flat sprints?

The stage does come after a rest day, but also before the double Mont Ventoux ascent. Now that I think of that, some of the better climby sprinty boys (cough Colbrelli) might try to make the day harder to try and put some fatigue in Cav's legs and try to make him OTL tomorrow, but it's quite a big gamble.

In short a lot could happen, but it will most likely be a boring sprint stage :p
 
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If it goes all crosswindy, you’d back Quickstep of all teams to make the most of it.

Dropping Bennett on the small climbs didn’t pay off for anyone last year (Sagan got 8th or something in that stage to Lyon) so Bora would want buy-in from TBV and BE. And might still lose out to WvA.

I’d say most likely Cav contests the sprint tomorrow. It’s up to the other sprinters to beat him.
 
The stage does come after a rest day, but also before the double Mont Ventoux ascent. Now that I think of that, some of the better climby sprinty boys (cough Colbrelli) might try to make the day harder to try and put some fatigue in Cav's legs and try to make him OTL tomorrow, but it's quite a big gamble.
Colbrelli going for the win, points, Kom, and GC tomorrow so maybe rest today.
 
Green jersey battle to resume. I think the break have a good chance of taking this one with what's to come tomorrow especially if its a good size break. Some teams won't want to chase too hard. Lotto have no reason to chase now.
 

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