Today’s stage is interestingly labelled ‘plain’ on the official TDF guide and roadbook. Here’s what the organizers consider flat:
The idea, I guess, is that the big climb is in the beginning, so it is essentially not a mountainous stage, meaning the sprinters would normally make it over that first col because the speed would not be too elevated at that point.
Thing is, Peter Sagan is not in his green jersey and there is every chance that he and his team will put the hammer down on the Col du Béal, drop the sprinters, and try and win the stage in Lyon. We’ll know in a few km whether he’s got the legs or not today.
Continuing with my personal TDF travelogue this year, I have ridden a little bit in the area the riders are rolling through today, crossing their route in 2017 on my solo trip to Paris from Nimes. The place our respective routes meet is Courpière, where we’ll see who wins the intermediate sprint.
From tomorrow we’ll be in, or near, the Alps again, where we find out which Slovene or Colombian will win this Tour.