When Sunday, July 17
Impact on GC 4/5
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The riders set out from Bourg-en-Bresse, and the stage is a succession of passes through the Jura mountain range. They head east first over the first climb, then they descend into the Gorge de l’Ain, cross the river and face some fearsome uphill sections to climb out of the gorge.
They then head south to Cerdon, where the roads become really narrow as the race heads south-east to Hauteville-Lompnes. After that, a couple of climbs and a long descent leads to Lochieu and the foot of a mountain called the Grand Colombier.
There are four ways up the Grand Colombier, and it’s a local rite of passage to include all four ascents in one ride. So as a nod to that tradition the 2016 Tour de France will do two.
The route climbs from Lochieu up the highest road over the mountain, then descends to Anglefort.
Then there is a short, flat section as the riders make for Culoz where they will finish, but not yet. First they climb the spectacular Lacets de Grand Colombier, then descend back to Anglefort for the run to the finish.
Chris Froome (Sky) goes into the stage as overall leader, and will be hoping for better luck than the previous mountain stage to Mont Ventoux when he was forced to get off and run after breaking his bike.
It could be a chance for Froome’s rivals to try and out-climb him. However, after Froome’s solo attack on stage eight and blistering descent to claim the win and overall lead, they’ll be just as wary of the downhill to the finish.
Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) goes into the day as King of the Mountains leader – will he make today’s break to try and increase his lead in the polka-dot jersey?