Tour de France Tour de France 2022: Stage 7 (Tomblaine – La Super Planche des Belles Filles, 176.3k)

The first MTF, and it’s possibly the forum’s least favourite climb – Planche des Belles Filles with the stupid gravel ramp (short, steep and as compacted as possible) on top. Uphill sprint like in 2019 or Pogacar going into murder mode early?

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Route description
The stage starts from Tomblaine at the stadium of AS Nancy, who were recently relegated to the French third tier after spending half a century going back and forth between Ligue 1 and 2. The team is best known for being the start of the playing career of Michel Platini (still the club’s all-time top scorer) and the managerial career of Arsène Wenger.

There is very little to say about the first half of the stage, which is largely flat, so we’ll have to make do with pretty pictures of places like the Château de Luneville, the 18th-century palace of the Dukes of Lorraine, once the breakaway has established itself. About halfway through, the flats of Lorraine give way to the mountains of the Vosges, where we quickly reach the intermediate sprint in Gérardmer, just like in the 2012 stage – also stage 7, also starting in Tomblaine, also ending on the same climb (albeit with the ‘normal’ finish).




Immediately after this, the road turns uphill for the first KOM of the day, Col de Grosse Pierre.


The next 25 kilometres are mostly on a gradual downhill, only interrupted by the false-flat drag to Col du Ménil. After this, it’s time for the second cat. 3 of the day, Col des Croix.


From here, the riders bypass Col des Chevrères to head via ASO’s favourite easy route to the start of their favourite MTF. This entails heading up the drag to Col de la Chevestraye, just like in the 2020 TT.


We all know the drill for what’s to come next. The finish is at the summit of the mountain itself, so unless ASO want to go the Dutch route and develop a waste dump here to later build a road on, we’ll forever be spared of a Super Deluxe Planche des Belles Filles.


Final kilometres


The area around Planche des Belles Filles has been used for mining since prehistoric times; the industry reached its peak here around 1700. The mines have been permanently closed since the late 19th century. The small ski station that has become so familiar to us cycling fans originates from the 1970s.


18th-century Pont des Fées on the outskirts of Gérardmer.
 
A lot of breaks will probably make it at this tour. The other teams know that they have to chance against Pog at a hill finish. UAE won't pull the breaks back because they really don't need to and don't have the team for doing that. Other teams will only pull if GC riders are in the front group.
 
Does anyone know the best place to park as the roads will be closed tomorrow I cannot find the location of the huge car parking place in a field near a club called Swingers (If that helps) I plan to ride up to a good spot.
 
Having ridden up it in 2014 I can assure you it IS a very tough climb 20% plus in parts and I did not have to deal with the other climbs first! So I think you are trivialising it a bit.
The post you responded to talked about the stage (not the climb) not being that hard. Sure, the climb is steep, but it’s a fairly short climb at the end of a mostly flat stage which, because it usually comes quite early in the Tour, is typically not ridden hard to the base of the climb. And to many of us the the 20% gravel road added to the top seems clownish. But yea, it’s still hard—as in, I would have to walk much of it!
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Having ridden up it in 2014 I can assure you it IS a very tough climb 20% plus in parts and I did not have to deal with the other climbs first! So I think you are trivialising it a bit.
Yea, but since the péloton has ridden up it in about 800 races since its introduction ten years ago, they all know it like the back of their hands at this stage.
 
Vingo and Rog to attack at the same time, one on each side of the road.

Only for Wout to shut that move down, setting up Steep Kuss for the real steep gravel ramp - after all, he's a former MTBer.
No I got it

Roglic to attack and solo to La Planche de Belles Filles. He will get there first and think he's finally starting to beat his demons.

Only then will he realise the finish is at *** Super Planche as Pogacar flies by him and wins the stage by 15 seconds.
 
In 2012, ASO discovered a climb that could provide for some GC-relevant climbing outside the Alps, Pyrenees and Massif Central. After overusing it for a few years, during which it gave us some decent racing, the organisers concluded: Wow, what a nice climb. What if we made it boring? But call it Super so noone will notice it. Truly a masterful plan not even Jumbo could match. Thank God there are such creative masterminds running cycling‘s biggest competition.

PS:I‘m actually just hoping that I get proven wrong ;)
 
Reactions: Sciatic
No I got it

Roglic to attack and solo to La Planche de Belles Filles. He will get there first and think he's finally starting to beat his demons.

Only then will he realise the finish is at *** Super Planche as Pogacar flies by him and wins the stage by 15 seconds.
Jumbo are going to give him a new helmet to try out tomorrow. Wrong size though.
 
In 2012, ASO discovered a climb that could provide for some GC-relevant climbing outside the Alps, Pyrenees and Massif Central. After overusing it for a few years, during which it gave us some decent racing, the organisers concluded: Wow, what a nice climb. What if we made it boring? But call it Super so noone will notice it. Truly a masterful plan not even Jumbo could match. Thank God there are such creative masterminds running cycling‘s biggest competition.

PS:I‘m actually just hoping that I get proven wrong ;)
nothing quite says Thierry Gouvenou like Planche des Belles Filles. If he could make 21 stages out of LPDF and Croix de Fer he would.
 
Jumbo to sit on the front and ride as slow as possible to make sure nobody loses any time. Everybody sees Sepp Kuss sitting somewhere near the front but not taking a turn and goes "whoa, that Sepp Kuss is such a great climber and he looks so relaxed, I'd better not attack as he will inevitably chase me down and then Jumbo will have me outnumbered AND I'll be tired!

Eighty men sprint out the finish at the top of the Super Planche with Kuss sitting 2nd wheel all the way to the line. Peter Sagan beats Chris Froome into second place. A technical hitch means that all commentary is knocked out except for Adam Blythe who commentates the stage solo.

A terrorist incident is reported at a Jumbo supermarket and Dutch police report that they are scouring cyclingnews forum for leads.
 

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