Tour de France Stage 10 Preview
Tuesday, July 6
Beware of the Mistral!
The return to race action after a first rest day is comparatively easy with a stage that’s the quickest way out of the Alps—there’s simply no question of serving up 21 difficult stages at the Tour! In other words, this should be a stage for the sprinters, although a long-distance breakaway could survive. That said, over the last 15 kilometers, the route makes a half-circle that could expose the riders to crosswinds. The wind direction is forecast to swing from south to north in the final hour of racing so echelons may well form, in which case a group could soon lose half a minute or more. We saw this happen on the 2017 stage into nearby Romans-sur-Isère, where some of the favorites were caught out. Whatever the weather, the finish is sure to be decided in a group or bunch sprint, with lots of green jersey points at stake for Mark Cavendish and his closest challengers Michael Matthews, Sonny Colbrelli, Jasper Philipsen and Nacer Bouhanni. To give Cavendish a chance of winning a third stage, his Deceuninck-Quick-Step teammates will have to work hard to keep the day’s breakaway on a short leash.
After 4km on the streets of Valence, at the end of a flat 350m straight on the 21.5 feet wide Avenue de Romans.
SCHEDULE (all times EDT)
Ceremonial start, Cours de l’Hôtel de Ville, Albertville: 7:05 a.m.; start (after 7.3km neutral to km0), 7:20 a.m.; Chambéry (149km to go), 8:16 a.m.; Col de Couz (Cat. 4, 132.2km to go), 8:38 a.m.; La Placette (sprint, 108.4km to go), 9:10 a.m.; Hostun (41.5km to go); Valence (finish, 190.7km), 11:34 a.m.