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So then read in the early Tour discussions that stage 6 will be a point at which we will see who has the legs for GC and who does not? Thought oh that is nice and early MTF - oh the climb of the pretty ladies JSG will be pleased, well maybe not the löast bit, but I am and I love the stage 160 km long with some great early climbing, and they have made La Planche des Belles Filles, longer and alot harder, so instead of coming over the last rise and dropping down towards the finish, they keep climbing with 2 nice steep sections



The folks over at cyclingstage.com have a great run down of the stage

Peaking at an elevation of 1,148 metres, the climb in the Vosges Mountains has established a reputation as a puncher’s finish in a short time. In 2012 La Planche des Belle Filles debuted in the Tour de France and now, after eight editions, it is already the fourth time that the climb is included. In 2017, Fabio Aru soloed to victory (16 seconds ahead of Daniel Martin and 20 seconds ahead of Chris Froome), in 2014 Vincenzo Nibali took the win in similar style (with Thibaut Pinot 15 seconds in arrears and Alejandro Valverde another 5 seconds further behind), while Chris Froome outclimbed Cadel Evans and Bradley Wiggins by 2 seconds in 2012.

In all three editions La Planche des Belles Filles was a climb of 5.9 kilometres with an average gradient of 8.5%. The 2019 race will feature an extra section of 1 kilometre and to pep things up this section is unpaved, except for the last 100 metres. Beginning with a leg-sapping ramp at 24%, the final kick up is too steep for gravel. The ‘new’ Planche des Belles Filles amounts to 7 kilometres at 8.7%.

The stage also includes Le Markstein (10.8 kilometres at 5.4%), Grand Ballon (1.3 kilometres at 9%), Col du Hundsruck (5.3 kilometres at 6.9%), Ballon d’Alsace (11 kilometer à 5,8%) and Col des Croix (3.3 kilometres at 6.1%), making it a testing day in the Vosges Mountains. Moreover, GC riders are tempted to open up the finale on the Chevrères, a punchy 3.5 kilometres climb at 9.5%, as the first three riders over the summit earn time bonuses of 8, 5 and 3 seconds.

The Chevrères is crested with 19 kilometres. The descent leads to a false flat of 4 kilometres, which runs to the foot of the final haul up.

Time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds are awarded to the first three riders on the line. Plus, as mentioned, there are extra seconds available at the Chevrères.

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The climbs















some sort of day really, no high altitudes yet they come later in the race, but struggle early your GC days are done. and I expect 5 or 6 riders who were mentioned as GC threats to be done.


No JSG favorites today but what I want to see

Tony Gallopin makes his way into the early break with whoever, on the Ballon d´Alsace Bardet attacks with Martin and Uran they link up with the break and on La Planche des Belles Filles fight out for the win, beating home Bernal who comes 4th 3 min down. Uran takes yellow and Gallopin makes a hero of himself for the pacing he does for the 3


 
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  • Of course, if this turns out someday to be the industry standard integrated handlebar-computer-braking solution then I'll eat my kevlar-reinforced aerodynamic hat.

    Larri Nov 12, 2014

    just some guy

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    Lots of people on Pinot. Can't see it myself
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  • t-72

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    Lots of people on Pinot. Can't see it myself

    He is the Vosges home boy after all, but even if he could win today, should he go all in now?

    I have some problems defining for myself how important this stage can be. With the slightly unconventional mix of stage profiles we have this year (it looks more like a Giro d'Italia 3-week combination than your typical TdF flat first week, mellow high second week, high peaks last week profile) - isn't that just using a lot of whatever he's got, too early? The Tour is still back-ended with more high peaks (and not-so-steep) gradients in the third week. For Pinot to finally win this race, that is where he's got to shine and that is what he is best at. He has won the looong climb up to the glaciers in Sölden. The finish today is different, a short climb at low altitude with a very steep finish. Pinot hasn't won any 24% gravel(grass?) climbs that I can think off, so why try too hard if you are in if for the 3 weeks? I think Pinot should leave this stage to Valverde and Bardet, and finish with Thomas and Nibali instead.






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    it's a fairly tough stage though, actually the one with the 4th most climbing in this Tour (based on altitude changes in m). I wouldn't reduce it too much on the final climb only - lots of riders will be very tired by then, and there may be not much explosivity left in the legs of someone like Woods or Dan Martin.

    The way I understood it, the gravel part is very solid, and smooth to ride by the way - and the final metres are paved even. So I guess it will not have too much of an influence.

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    PeteFromLeeds

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    What a stage! A rider from the breakaway taking the yellow, Alaphilippe who was expected to fall back today holding strong, and Thomas solidifying himself as the early favourite. Pinot still looking good as well, shame for Bardet - he's not looked great the last few years sadly.
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    Pinot still looking good as well, shame for Bardet - he's not looked great the last few years sadly.

    I don't think I saw a single BARDET written on the road. Those painters obviously know their onions.

    Mind you I didn't see too many ALAPHILIPPE's either. A very long name and a lot of paint required for one thing, but probably not quite as popular as Pinot due to his lack of ever having ridden for a "home" team.
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  • Joelsim

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    My footage on Eurosport stopped just as it showed Tejay lumbering up to the finish having lost several minutes. Blimey he’s boring.
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  • Mellow Velo

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     I doubt that the ASO had in mind to have a Frenchman lose the Maillot Jeune, when they introduced 8 seconds bonus for certain climbs. :D
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    t-72

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    I had some other committments this afternoon so couldn't watch the stage live in its entirety and just finished my replay...

    whoah!  :S what an absolutely amazing stage.   :cool

    Brilliant ride in the breakaway and between #bahrain Dylan and #trek Giulio it was always going to be either Ciccone dropped Teuns further down or Teuns would get the stage in the sprint. Almost odd that #trek did not recognize this from the start of the climb and basically offered the stage win to Teuns for the #yellow to Ciccone. That was the end result anyway, but they fought for it rather than collaborated.
    (Ciccone in my eyes is an endurance climber while Teuns is a puncher - one of the best at that!)

    In the GC favorites group, last years winner #ineos Geraint Thomas showed that he is now back in full force. It is a bit surprising that he actually outsprinted (if you can call it "outsprinting" ... "out-upward-crawled" would be more descriptive ) - #quickstep Alaphilippe, one of very few that is actually better than Teuns on the ultra-steep-finish-stuff. However, this wasn't the Mur de Huy, it was an ultra steep finish on a the end of a long steep climb on the end of a stage with many long climbs and a lot of climbing in total. (A bit like  the airstrip finish in Peyragudes two years back.)  The endurance element clearly weighed in, and the endurance of G. Thomas in good shape is again proven very hard to match.

    Let's see if Thomas can keep his wheels on tarmac for the remaining 15 stages, but today's was a very strong performance.  Thomas somehow stamped his authority on the race and also within the team. Bernal is good but he wasn't as strong today.

    Vosges homeboy #groupama Thibaut Pinot also did a very strong stage, even if he could not follow Thomas all the way to the finish line, or rather - he was actually in the process of closing the gap on the last few meters,  and he didn't loose precious time. In a GC-focused review I will skip Alaphilippe but he was good today and he might take back the #yellow on some bonus seconds the next couple of days, if the team wants him to do so.

    Let's skip a few middle-of-the-road performers and turn to the loosers. Dropping out of any GC contention we have:
    #bahrain Rohan Dennis end of discussion if he ever was in the discussion, but it looked like he could be,  after a good ride in Tour de Suisse.
    #rainbow #movistar Alejandro Valverde (it was clearly the plan to do so so he did not really loose, but many have been talking about him,,,)
    #ef Tejay van Garderen - also not a captain but he sure didn't look like one either and far from as convingly "just here doin' my job" as Valverde was.
    #ag2r Romain Bardet - now 2 minutes behind G Thomas after loosing 1 minute on the last 1 meter today. Doesn't seem to be his year, does it?
    #wanty Guillaume Martin - the GC rider with the best results on the stages that doesn't count, not the guy with good results when it really matters (+ 1 minute relative to Thomas)
    #bahrain Vincenzo Nibali - I am not going to blame him for this, it almost felt good to see him struggling and zigzagging today after his efforts in the Giro. The shark is human!

    Less certain about:
    #jumbo Steven Kruijswijk - loosing half a minute relative to G today and consequently dropping 5 spots in the GC, but this supersteep finish isn't his terrain.  CAn he come back?
    #quickstep Mas - without any help from Alaphilippe, can he claw back the lost time later? 

    There was a group of riders coming in less than 20 secs behind G, including #jumbo Bennet, #ef Woods, #ef Uran, #uae Martin, #mitchelton Yates, #ineos Bernal, #trek Porte, #movistar Landa, #astana Fuglsang, #bora Buchmann and #movistar Quintana. I guess that was the "peloton" of the day and those riders didn't ride into or out of contention, they are all hanging in there in a way. This probably includes a few riders that for tactical reasons did not want to show their cards today (I suspect #ef Uran, #mitchelton Yates and #trek Porte) and some that only wished to limit losses (#astana Fuglsang) and some we just can't really know what they were up to (#uae Martin, #jumbo Bennet, #ef Woods, #bora Buchmann).

    This was such a good start to the individual GC racing, I am beginning to thing this may be the most exciting GC race in the TdF in a decade. It is definetly not over yet.





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