Tour de France Stage 9 Preview
Sunday, July 4
The first high-altitude finish
After the unfinished stage to Tignes in 2019—a mudslide in the valley blocked the race when Egan Bernal was on a solo breakaway—the organizers promised to return to Tignes as soon as possible. And here we are! The opening half of this shortish stage is challenging, with the ultra-steep Côte de Domancy, the Col des Saisies and the Tour’s first above-category mountain, the Col du Pré (12.6 kilometers averaging 7.7 percent), on the menu. Don’t expect the GC riders to try long-distance attacks because the descent from Cormet de Roselend is 20 kilometers long and is followed by a lengthy stretch of valley to reach the final climb to Tignes. It’s almost a summit finish as only the last 2 kilometers are flat. With the first rest day coming on Monday, the challengers won’t be holding back on this first high-altitude finish. New race leader Tadej Pogačar and his UAE Team Emirates will be playing defense, but with the next two podium places still open—and with six riders from six different teams within 40 seconds of each other vying for third place—this will again be a stage of constant action.
1.9km after a climb of 21km averaging 5.6 percent, at the end of a 120m straight on the 19.6 feet wide Avenue de la Grande Motte (at Tignes Val Claret).
SCHEDULE (all times EDT)
Ceremonial start, Complexe des Esserts, Cluses: 7:00 a.m.; start (after 5km neutral to km0), 7:10 a.m.; Côte de Domancy (cat. 2, 125.3km to go), 7:41 a.m.; Praz-sur-Arly (sprint, 112.2km to go), 8:08 a.m.; Col des Saisies (Cat. 1, 95.5km to go), 8:46 a.m.; Col du Pré (Hors-Cat, 64km to go), 9:43 a.m.; Cormet de Roselend (Cat. 2, 51.6km to go), 10:09 a.m.; Montée de Tignes (Cat 1, 1.9km to go), 11:43 a.m.; Tignes (finish, 144.9km), 11:47 a.m.