Tour de France peloton reacts to a ‘vicious, brutal and slapstick’ gravel stage

Does gravel belong in the Tour de France? The jury is still out

Tour de France stage nine gravel
(Image credit: Getty Images)

For three of the past four days, the Tour de France has largely been on hold, the race as good as on pause and the excitement dulled while the sprinters had their chances, and teams curiously decided against putting men in the breakaway. 

Enter stage nine to reinvigorate the drama, the first-ever stage in the modern Tour de France with multiple sectors of chemins blancs – gravel roads. The 199km race in and around Troyes, passing over 14 sectors of loose rock, was won unexpectedly by TotalEnergies’s Frenchman Anthony Turgis, while behind the GC cohort tore shreds off each other, but ultimately all crossed the finish line as one. 

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Chris Marshall-Bell

A freelance sports journalist and podcaster, you'll mostly find Chris's byline attached to news scoops, profile interviews and long reads across a variety of different publications. He has been writing regularly for Cycling Weekly since 2013. In 2024 he released a seven-part podcast documentary, Ghost in the Machine, about motor doping in cycling.

Previously a ski, hiking and cycling guide in the Canadian Rockies and Spanish Pyrenees, he almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains. He lives in Valencia, Spain.