The Spin: Stage 10

Stage 10

A short stage and coming after the rest day it could prove a shock for some as some riders emerge rested whilst others need a day or two to get back into things although given some recent events everyone will welcome a return to the racing.

It’s a scenic route through the Lot area of France, a peaceful area of France where a lot of foie gras and truffles come from the causse although it ends up in a town famous for coal mining instead of rustic traditions. Cycling-wise the curiosity is the lack of roads in the area, there are very few junctions along the way, yet alone villages and towns.

Note the early intermediate sprint. If you think it’s downhill, you’re right. There’s also a central reservation in the middle of the road during the approach.

Stage 10 intermediate

Then it’s onto the first climb of the day, 2.3km at 6% in Figeac, not far from where David Moncoutié grew up. The Frenchman is a gifted climber but has been carrying injuries so far this week so he might not be able to shine on local roads. From then on the roads are steady, there are no constant ups and downs. The Côte de Loupiac is an easy 2.5km at 4.1% and the third category Côte de Villefranche de Rouergue is 4.1km at 5.9%, big ring territory. Same again for the final climb at Mirandol, 3.9km at 4.1%.

The finish into Carmaux sweeps downhill, nothing steep but a fast finish with a few curves. There’s a sharp bend at 1km to go and then another with 400 metres to go.

I suspect this will come down to a bunch finish but watch out for a bold late attack as the terrain late in the race could suit an explosive or wily rider.

Weather: hot and sunny, talk of rain and storms has been blown away and the riders can expect warm temperatures and a light headwind. Top temperatures of 31°C (88°F). EDIT: this is the second edit but now there is a weather warning for the stage with storms and hail possible.

5 thoughts on “The Spin: Stage 10”

  1. I think a breakaway with people far back in the GC has good chances, because Europcar will let them go. If the bunch is together in the last climb, I guess Omega Pharma will accelerate in order to drop Cavendish before the end, with Garmin help. Gilbert and Hushovd are favourites in that case. But I’d put my money on the breakaway.

  2. Downhill sprint in the wet, no thanks! I hope the rest of the bunch sits up and lets the sprinters have at it. If Cav wins today he could realistically walk away with 6 stages. Along with today, stages 11, 15 and 21 are all realistic possibilities. Also HTC are still at full strength whereas garmin and lotto have both lost important riders.

    Bets on TV Tommy trying to get in a break today 😉

  3. I say bunch sprint. This, tomorrow’s stage and stage 15 are the last chances for a bunch sprint before the Champs-Élysées. With fresh legs the sprinter teams won’t take any risks and those few bumbs wouldn’t cause any problems for an in form sprinter, since they are too far away from the finish for any opportunistic attacks.
    So look for Cav, Farrar, Rojas, Feillu and Greipel drawing their swords.

  4. Superb spectacular finish. Great watch. It really felt a little like a Tour of Flanders. Cav has earned a lot more respect from me, being able to fight back after the Gilbert ambush. Too bad he didn’t win, Greipel being, I guess, a little fresher. The Green Jersey fight has become a fascinating contest between 3 different kinds of riders (not counting Evans who still has a lot of chances if he only tries a little). Tony Martin was great, obliging GC teams to chase Gilbert. But I’m not sure about Voeckler, he’s going to need those energies in the Tourmalet and Luz-Ardiden. I really hope Hoogerland keeps that polka-dot jersey (or else a true climber for a change, but not Voeckler).

  5. Hi,

    Absolutely love the blog, however I’m remaining anonymous because you’ll probably think I’m an idiot…

    I just wanted to point out that the phrase is “let alone” not “yet alone”. A frustrating habit that blemishes otherwise excellent prose.

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