Mellow Velo

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Stage 15: Rodez - Carcassonne 202.5km.

Start Time: 13-05CET.

The road to Carcassonne is often hilly and the ups and downs that lead to it can favour breakaways. A long and tricky stage awaits the peloton, with the relatively long Côte des Cammazes (actually it’s 10,6 at 4% ) that could be too hard for some of the fast men. Nevertheless, the organizers have tried to make sure that this day smiles on at least the sprinters. That’s provided that their team's work hard to control the day’s attackers, who still might manage to produce a surprise.

This time Rodez serves as the start hub of a transition stage to Carcassonne, a place in the foothills of the Pyrenees. The riders traverse undulating terrain. In the second hour of racing, the peloton will flow through the spectacular Tarn Gorge; the course then avoids the climbs over the Black Mountains; and the last 10 kilometers, on a descending false flat, have been designed to encourage the formation of echelons if there are crosswinds present.

Final Kms.

The finish will be in the same place as last year, quite technical and slightly uphill, where Mark Cavendish equaled Eddy Merckx’s record for the number of Tour stage wins.

What to Expect.
The balance of probability suggests that the stage will end in a bunch sprint, as it did, last year. However, that route being slightly flatter, it was the first ever Tour de France bunch sprint in Carcassonne.
Historically, the breakaway has always done extremely well when visiting the city.
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