Saturday, June 24, 2017

A deceptively tricky Stage 14 awaits the riders of the 2015 Tour de France as they traverse 178.5km from Rodez to Mende over hilly, rough roads.

 

 

The day starts with a cat 4 before descending into the valley where they will remain for the intermediate sprint at 78.5kms in Millau.  The closing 140kms, though, it’s up and down for 3 more categorized climbs:

  • Km 20.0 - Côte de Pont-de-Salars1.3 kilometre-long climb at 5.8% - category 4
  • Km 146.0 - Côte de Sauveterre9 kilometre-long climb at 6% - category 2
  • Km 169.5 - Côte de Chabrits1.9 kilometre-long climb at 5.9% - category 4
  • Km 177.0 - Côte de la Croix Neuve (1 055 m)3 kilometre-long climb at 10.1% - category 2

This foray into the Massif Central doesn’t use the bigger climbs of the region, but the Cote de la Croix Neuve (Montee Laurent Jalabert) should do enough damage to those who are suffering because even though it’s short, it’s 10% gradient at the end of the stage will make it difficult for many.  The closing kilometres will require tactics in addition to tenacity.  Will Froome attack to gain more time, or will other GC contenders finally be able to break the Sky strength? 

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