Preview: 2016 Tour de France Stages 8-14.

Fri 8 Jul 2016

One week down and two more to go, here is the ORICA-BikeExchange guide to the second week of stages at the 103rd Tour de France.

Saturday 9th July Stage 8: Pau to Bagneres-de-Luchon, 184km.

The second day in the French Pyrenees includes the infamous Hors category Col du Tourmalet.  A classic Tour de France stage in every sense with four categorised climbs in 100kilometres and finishing with the Col de Peyresourde. This is a pure, full on mountain stage for the climbers and the general classification contenders.

Sunday 10th July Stage 9: Viehla Val d’Aran to Arcalis, 184.5km.

The third and final day in the French Pyrenees and another intense mountain stage with five categorised climbs including the Hors category Andorre-Arcalis. Standing over 2,240 altitude metres the final climb and summit finish in Andorra will be a challenge for even the lightest, most skillful of the climbers.

Monday 11th July, Rest day: After three taxing days in the mountains the riders will enjoy a welcome rest day before getting back on their bikes in the south of France.

Tuesday 12th July Stage 10: Escaldes-Endgordany to Revel, 197km.

Stage 10 is a medium mountain stage which starts with the challenging first category Port d’Envilara climb before gradually descending to a flattish finish in Revel. A transition stage that brings the race out of the Pyrenees and towards the beautiful Mediterranean coastline of southern France.

Wednesday 13th July Stage 11: Carcassonne to Montpellier, 162.5km.

A rolling sprint stage that starts in the historic medieval town of Carcassonne and heads eastwards and slightly inland before moving along the coast to the finish in Montpellier. A stage for the pure sprinters and the penultimate opportunity before the finish in Paris.

Thursday 14th July Stage 12: Montpellier to Mont Ventoux, 184km.

A true mountain stage and arguably the most famous summit finish in cycling. Mont Ventoux is a legendary Hors category climb and has made numerous appearances in the Tour over the years. As usual the epic and exposed mountain will play a role of significance in the general classification and this year it is to be tackled on Bastille Day, the most important French national holiday.

Friday 15th July Stage 13: Bourg-St-Anedol to La Caverne, 37.5km ITT.

The first of two individual time trials in this year’s Tour de France, the challenging 37.5kilometre course starts with a six-kilometre climb before leveling out, descending and then climbing three-kilometres to the finish. It is liable to very hot and very uncomfortable.

Saturday 16th July Stage 14: Montelimar to Villar-les-Dombes, 208.5km.

A long 200 plus kilometre stage that follows a predominantly flat route towards the southern industrial city of Lyon. A sprint stage but the finish will depend largely on which of the pure sprinters have made it through the Pyrenees and over Mont Ventoux. This is the last flat stage until the finish in Paris and the last chance for the fast man to grab some glory.