‘Riders will be nervous’: How teams are approaching the daunting Planche des Belles Filles climb at the Tour de France 2019

The first GC test of the 2019 Tour is a big one – here’s how it looks from inside the peloton

(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

The fight for the yellow jersey gets underway on stage six of the Tour de France, as the peloton face the daunting Planche des Belles Filles climb.

At 7.3 kilometres long, the ascent is far from the longest of this year’s Tour, but with a constantly shifting gradients and some devilishly steep sections the climb is expected to shake up the general classification race.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.