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Mellow Velo

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Sisteron > Orcières-Merlette - Stage 4 - 160,5 km
« on: August 20, 2020, 15:52 »
Sisteron > Orcières-Merlette 01/09/2020 - Stage 4 - 160,5 km

 The Tour de France this year tackles it's first summit finish as early as stage 4. At 157 kilometres, the race travels from Sisteron to ski resort Orcières-Merlette.
 While the Paris-Nice peloton is familiar with Sisteron, having stopped in town a few times, the Tour de France only visited the citadel once, in 2010, for the start of a stage won in Bourg-les-Valence by Mark Cavendish.
For the cycling fan, Orcières-Merlette evokes the 1971 Tour de France and the impressive solo ride by Luis Ocana, winner in the Hautes-Alpes ski resort with a six minutes lead over Lucie Van Impe, and nearly nine minutes over Eddy Merckx. It has been 31 years since the Tour last visited Orcières-Merlette. In 1989, Dutchman Steven Rooks won the uphill ITT.



The riders set off from Sisteron to head north and cross the mountains around Dévoluy and eventually finish uphill in Orcières-Merlette.
 Bad legs on the finish climb to Orcières-Merlette will surely have its impact.





The final haul to the ski resort at en elevation of 1,825 metres is 7.1 kilometres long, while the average gradients sits at 6.7%.



Stage 4 of Le Tour starts at 13.25 and the race is expected to finish around 17.30 – both are local times (CEST).

Sisteron

One previous stage.
Population: 7,700

There is an oddity with Sisteron in that several riders won their first victory for their new team in town during Paris-Nice. It was the case in 1999 for Jacky Durant with Lotto. It was also the case two years later for Alex Zuelle, who clinched his only won for Team Coast. In 2008, Carlos Barredo, winner in Sisteron, had never previously won for Quick Step. It was nearly the case again for Jérôme Cousin in 2018, who had just made it back into the direct Energie squad after a spell at Cofidis.Critérium du Dauphiné also halted in Sisteron several times, the last in 2015, when Nacer Bouhanni raised his arms.





Orcières-Merlette

Four previous stages
Population: 700

The Tour de France returned to Orcières-Merlette three further times since with stage wins by Lucien Van impe (1972), Pascal Simon (1982) and Steven Rooks in a time trial in 1989.
Thanks to this cycling background, the town created the Cyclosport complex regrouping 11 riding circuits labelled by the French Cycling Federation. The courses go through the valley between charming landscapes and wild nature with varies difficulty levels from the smooth hillsides to Col du Noyer.








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  • « Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 18:28 by Mellow Velo »
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

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    https://twitter.com/LeTour/status/1277972239908868101

    not sure this is really a worthy "first" category climb, but good so see a bit of a change from the usual scheme in week one. Could still result in some kind of sprint, though - unless the breakaway stays clear till the end, which doesn't look too unlikely, as Quickstep isn't particularly strong.
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

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    not quite about today (maybe), but #ef Michael Woods seems to be on the Canadian commentary for the Tour, and he talked a bit about Dani Martinez the other day, which I found quite interesting:



    He is ~4 minutes behind after those two crashes on stage 2, but that may give him a bit of freedom (he better shouldn't get, based on that ;) )
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Primož Roglič  #jumbo showed exactly why he has been so widely tipped to win the yellow jersey, with a commanding performance in the first summit finish to claim the third Tour de France stage victory of his career.
    In a performance that echoed his stage win at the Critérium du Dauphiné a few weeks ago, Roglič sat on the wheel of his Jumbo-Visma domestique Sepp Kuss as the American set a searing pace on the last few kilometres of the climb, before launching a deadly acceleration in the finishing sprint to pass Guillaume Martin  #cofidis and claim the win.
    Everything played out exactly as Jumbo-Visma could have hoped for.

    Julian Alaphilippe finished comfortably towards the front of the group of favourites to successfully defend the yellow jersey for another day, and climbed well enough to suggest he may remain in  #yellow for some time yet.

    Other riders will be less happy with how their day went. The nine seconds lost by Emanuel Buchmann  #bora
    It was also a bad day for  #ef, who’s young Colombian duo of Dani Martínez and Sergio Higuita arrived with Carapaz  #ineos in the group 28 seconds adrift, and  #movistar, whose co-leaders Enric Mas and Alejandro Valverde lost nine and 21 seconds respectively.

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