Tour de France Tour de France 2021, Stage 8: Oyonnax – Le Grand-Bornand, 150.8 km

Stage 8: Oyonnax – Le Grand-Bornand, 150.8 km
Mountains! As proven in 2009 of all years, the Romme-Colombière combination is excellent, but a combination of being positioned before two MTFs and headwind completely neutered it in 2018. It’s disappointing that ASO have used it for the first mountain stage again with an easier run-in to boot, at least the ensuing stage isn’t that hard this time. Given that this is still probably the fourth-easiest opportunity to take time uphill, there’s definitely hope for this one.

Map and profile




Route details
It’s uphill directly out of the gate, with the final 5.8k of the profile below, from the junction to RF de Belmont, coming after the neutralisation. Any climbers wanting to make the breakaway would like it to go here – this could easily have been a second-category climb – but that doesn’t look overly likely.



The next part of the stage is the easiest, with only minor climbs that have gone uncategorised preceding a flat section through the intermediate sprint.



From here, the route comes agonisingly close to the Salève, instead taking in two easy climbs in the Côte de Copponex…



…and the Côte de Menthonnex-en-Bornes, which could also have been a cat. 3 if ASO had decided to categorise more than the first half displayed below.



Another flat section brings us to the final triptych of climbs, starting with the newly-introduced Côte de Mont-Saxonnex.



From here, it’s back to better-known terrain, with the hardest climb of the race so far in Col de Romme…



…and the final 7.5 kilometers of Col de la Colombière, with bonifications on offer.



Final kilometers
Low-gradient descent until 2 kilometers to go, then flat with a slight kick up to the finish line.



 
Maybe Bora will drill this first uncategorised climb for Sagan?
There's plenty of time, 40km of downhill/flat between the top and the sprint for Quickstep to get Cav back on.

So yes, hopefully they try and the field gets blown apart, but I would guess that Quickstep's focus tomorrow will be Alaphilippe. This is the same finish as his 1st Tour stage win, correct? Just with the addition of Sayonnex before the Romme.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
This stage has a huge amount of potential. I really like the route, with three very tough climbs. I just wonder what the race dynamics are going to be like. Ineos could explode the race on the Romme and then we could have them finishing in 2s and 3s.
Agreed. Ineos may try to explode the race and isolate Pogacar (though Tignes stage could be better for it). Romme-Colombiere combo is 16 km at 8.5-9%, very difficult. Team effort is of less importance on these steep slopes and Pogacar may counter and distance his rivals.
 
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My fear is that because Sunday is an MTF then people won't want to go from afar here and we get attacks on the steep last couple of kilometres of the Colombière only.

My hope is that because today was so hard, a lot of leaders are isolated or with limited domestique supply by the base of the Romme and we get 40km of serious action.

Another hope is that we get some pictures on screen of some biathlon greats since we're finishing in Le Grand Bornand. I would also like some footage from La Course 2018 with the epic chasedown and even more epic Cille interview.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
I believe that tomorrow it will be a very offensive stage, because tignes will not make big differences. We all know how climbs like tignes ends, gc favorites together until the last km, attacks just in the last km.
The parcours tomorrow is perfect for attacks, there's no excuses to the teams go defensively (unless the riders don't have the legs to make something).
 
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Reactions: Big Doopie
My fear is that because Sunday is an MTF then people won't want to go from afar here and we get attacks on the steep last couple of kilometres of the Colombière only.

My hope is that because today was so hard, a lot of leaders are isolated or with limited domestique supply by the base of the Romme and we get 40km of serious action.

Another hope is that we get some pictures on screen of some biathlon greats since we're finishing in Le Grand Bornand. I would also like some footage from La Course 2018 with the epic chasedown and even more epic Cille interview.
This time will be the opposite. They will go offensive tomorrow, tignes is a mtf but it's not that hard. The combo saxoness/romme/colombiere is very hard, it will make differences if the riders attack.
 
With Van Der Poel, Van Aert, Alaphilippe, Pogacar, Carapaz and Nibali comes an abundance of panache.

Add to that the fact that these riders are all in GC contention, and the weakness of UAE, I predict that this mountain stage (and those to come) will compensate us for a decade of tedium.

Today was already a classic.
 
If Cav takes the points in that intermediate sprint I'll stop watching the stage :p

Who are the good climbers that are also decent descenders and have lost time already? Woods, Quintana, Martin...?
After the last stage of TdS I find it surprising that Woods is the first rider you name when talking about decent descenders :p.

First names I think of are Izagirre and Bilbao.
 

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