Tour de France Tour de France 2022: Stage 13 (Le Bourg d’Oisans – Saint-Étienne, 193.6k)

The best opportunity the sprinters have had since at least Calais on stage 4, and the best they will get for another week. It very much won’t be an easy day for them, though – even if Jumbo don’t push the pace on the climbs, there are still a lot of people who will fancy their chances from the breakaway.

Profile


Map


Stage description
As is tradition for the day after Huez, the stage starts from Le Bourg d’Oisans, the main town of the Oisans valley. The first 27 kilometres will be fast, as the riders head down a long false flat into Vizille, where the first hill of the day, Côte de Brié, starts.


The descent takes the peloton into Grenoble, historic capital of the Dauphiné and the largest city in the Alps. The next 35 kilometres are entirely flat, but that’s where the good news for the sprinters ends: not only is this easily the longest flat of the day, but it ends with a cat. 2 climb up to Col de Parmenie.


There is not much of a descent, instead the road quickly flattens out again. Just before the next hilly section commences, the riders pass through the intermediate sprint in La Côte-Saint-André.




The harder hill a little further on is the Côte de l’Étang Bertache. It could have been a cat. 4 or even 3, instead it goes uncategorised.


From here, the route slowly heads for the Rhône, which is crossed in the Ancient Roman city of Vienne. Upon reaching the opposite side of the river, the final categorised climb of the day, Côte de Saint-Romain-en-Gal, starts.


A rolling section and a brief descent take us into the Gier valley. The ensuing section looks like a false flat on the profile, but in reality the average gradient into Saint-Chamond is only about 1%. However, here the riders turn right to leave the valley.

Final kilometres




With 13k to go, the route leaves the valley to the north to climb the Côte des Sorbiers. This hill was categorised in the harder Marcus Burghardt-won 2008 stage, which featured the same start and finish – this was the day after Sastre won that Tour on Alpe d’Huez. The run-in after Sorbiers is mostly (albeit not entirely) the same, including the finish line, which is in the same place as in every Saint-Étienne stage.

At the summit of Sorbiers, there’s a roundabout, there are another three before the final 5 kilometres are reached. This entire stretch is on the same main road, which is left at just over 3k to go at the junction below.


Just after this, at exactly 3k to go, the riders turn right again. The roadbook doesn’t mention the traffic island so my guess is that it will be removed.


The next 1.8 kilometres are quite straightforward, then the riders turn right at this roundabout. It’s named after the late Andrei Kivilev, who passed away in the hospital in Saint-Étienne after fracturing his skull in a crash in Paris-Nice in nearby Saint-Chamond, which is also visited in this stage. The Kazakh’s death led the UCI to finally mandate the use of helmets.


Now this is where the finish design becomes a bit odd. Instead of taking the shortest route, which only features two 45-degree turns, like in 2008, ASO have decided to detour via this intersection, for a tight 90-degree left-hander. I can’t confirm how much (if any) of the traffic furniture will be there – none of it was removed in 2019, but they came into this turn from the west rather than the east.


This turn comes at 800 metres to go; this final stretch is the same as in 2019. They join that route at the junction that Alaphilippe and Pinot pass through at 0:38 in the video below.

Historically a coal-mining city, Saint-Étienne is best known for the eponymous football club, now joint record French champions, who were relegated to the second tier at the end of last season. We finish just outside the stadium.


14th-century Pont Saint-Martin in Vienne.
 
Veloville?
Don't know what Veloville is.

I'm talking about the industry many decades ago, and even a century ago. St Etienne had a big weapons industry, and I suppose an offshoot of making gun barrels was bike tubing. Bit similar to Birmingham in the UK. BSA was a big bike brand (and motorcycles) its long gone now, but BSA stood for Birmingham Small Arms (small arms means rifles and pistols).

St Chamond and St Etienne had Ateliers de la Rive, which mutated into Vitus, famous for the duralinox frames (979) that were early aluminium frames that took Sean Kelly to many victories. Vitus is long gone, existing only as a brand name for far Eastern made bikes sold by Chain Reaction.

There were loads of companies in this area that were big names up to the 80s, prior to manufacturing shifting to the far east, and the americanisation of the bike industry.
 
Break I guess.

Maybe a sprint if nobody wants to push the hills to drop the pure sprinters and Jumbo just says "bruh it's not our job anymore", but Jumbo could easily just try to get Van Aert in the break again.
 
Stage 15 should definitely also be an opportunity for sprinters. This one probably as well, unless a really strong break goes clear (which I doubt).
Ewan and Jakobsen won't survive, so those teams aren't going to work. Don't think BEX is confident enough that Groenewegen would survive either if a team like Total or Alpecin tries to drop him and no way they're going to ride for Matthews in a stage like that. So basically only Total and Alpecin left to control with like 15 teams wanting to go in the break.
 
Reactions: SHAD0W93
Can't wait for this one, been excited about this since the route was announced back in October!
In all seriousness given the lack of sprint stages this year, I think the sprint teams will be up for this one
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Ewan and Jakobsen won't survive, so those teams aren't going to work. Don't think BEX is confident enough that Groenewegen would survive either if a team like Total or Alpecin tries to drop him and no way they're going to ride for Matthews in a stage like that. So basically only Total and Alpecin left to control with like 15 teams wanting to go in the break.
Trek for Pedersen?

Also I would anticipate Lotto, Quickstep and BikeExchange contributing to the chase if they don't have anyone in the breakaway, they have very little to save their manpower for considering that stage 15 is harder and the first opportunity after that is still a week away. There will be a headwind for most of the stage too, we've seen harder stages end up in sprints as a result (e.g. the 2020 Vuelta stage Philipsen won).
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Trek for Pedersen?

Also I would anticipate Lotto, Quickstep and BikeExchange contributing to the chase if they don't have anyone in the breakaway, they have very little to save their manpower for considering that stage 15 is harder and the first opportunity after that is still a week away. There will be a headwind for most of the stage too, we've seen harder stages end up in sprints as a result (e.g. the 2020 Vuelta stage Philipsen won).
I did forget about Pedersen indeed.
Lotto and QS just absolutely need to have someone on the break.
 
Probably a sprint but if a strong group of rouleurs get away then the break will go all the way. I'd say 60-40.

One small thing that might have slipped under the radar ... Bagioli was 24th on the stage yesterday. This kinda blew me away. Earlier in the Tour he looked in terrible form, going backwards on small hills he would usually thrive on (Stage 8 for example). There was talk of him being sick but, whatever the case, he obviously has much improved form now. He could be super dangerous from a break.
 
Please Wout don't be greedy. Let someone else win. Hopefully not Pog or Jonas or Laporte or maybe not even Cort.

Caleb, Sagan Pedersen, EBH or something. Someone old or in need of relegation points please. Thank you.

Amen.
No, I hope the best one wins, whether from the bunch or from a break if the bunch think it's best to let go.
I'm starting to dislike JV's strength, but if they can afford to chase win in every stage, with any of their rider, then I hope they go for it. It's racing.
Gifts in certain circumstances with certain agreement are okay, but no random charity please, it's disrespectful.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY