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Tour de France Tour de France 2024, Stage 10: Orléans > Saint-Amand-Montrond, 187.3km

OP by @Devil's Elbow
https://forum.cyclingnews.com/threads/tour-de-france-2024-stage-by-stage-analysis.39775/post-3032424

The Route

After a 200-kilometre transfer, the riders find themselves in Alejandro Valverde’s least favourite part of France. It’s the flattest stage of the race, but if the wind blows…
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The race restarts from Orléans, where the riders have already spent their rest day. Located at the northernmost point of the Loire (and thereby the closest point on the river to Paris), it has always been well-situated for trading – in fact, there was already a bridge over the Loire here prior to the Roman conquest of Gaul. In the Middle Agesz it became the capital of the largest duchy in the country. Above all else, it is associated with the Siege of Orléans, the turning point in the Hundred Years’ War. France had lost half its territory and had offered to surrender the city, and with it its last major foothold in the northern third of the country, to Bourgogne (who were allied with the English). The English refused, believing that the city would fall anyway… but this refusal led Bourgogne to withdraw from the siege, leaving the English short of manpower when French reinforcements, and with them Jeanne d’Arc, arrived. The siege was lifted, and the rest, as they say, is history.

At the time of the siege, Orléans was one of the most prominent cities in France, but its status as the capital of the Huguenot Revolution in the 16th century, the loss of its university (one of France’s oldest) in the French Revolution, and the decline of the river trade in the 19th century have all contributed to a somewhat decreased importance today.

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The stage can be divided into two halves: the first through the forests of Sologne, and the second through the highly-exposed plains of the Berry. As such, the only point of interest in the first half is the intermediate sprint in Romoranthin-Lanthenay.

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After leaving the city of Vierzon, on the southern tip of the Sologne, it will be code red if the wind is blowing. The final 60 kilometres, from Issoudun onwards, are mostly identical to the 2013 stage into Saint-Amand-Montrond. The bump on the profile towards the end is very straightforward.

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The finish is completely identical to the 2013 stage. There are some curves to stretch things out, but nothing too technical.

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Saint-Amand-Montrond is a shrinking town at the edge of the Berry plains. In the Second World War, a significant number of Jews went into hiding here. 37 of them were arrested by the Milice, the Vichy regime’s paramilitary arm, and then murdered by being thrown into wells and then crushed by boulders. This atrocity is only remembered because one of the 37 managed to survive the massacre. In cycling, it is most notable as the birthplace of Julian Alaphilippe. This will be its fourth stage finish, and the other three have all been notable: the final TTs in 2001 and 2008 (the winners of both have since been scrapped) and the aforementioned echelon stage in 2013.

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What to expect?

A very hectic and potentially crucial second half of the day if the wind blows, a second rest day if not.
 
Looks like the wind will be neither strong enough nor from the right direction tomorrow, so second rest day it is.
I thought the same when I checked yesterday, but now it looks promising after Issoudun. I think it was on the same part of D9 where Bennati initiated the final split in 2013.

EDIT: It was on D14 that it split in 2013, on the same road they'll ride tomorrow.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nDEOxrrcT4


There's a bit of a detour from the 2013 stage, including a quite narrow road: https://www.google.com/maps/@46.828...umbfov=90!7i13312!8i6656?coh=205410&entry=ttu
 
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