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Tour de France 2018 Stage 10: Preview of first day in the mountains

Joe Robinson
16 Jul 2018

Stage 10 could be decisive with four mountains on the menu after the first rest day

Stage 10 of the 2018 Tour de France, which takes place on Tuesday 17th July, will explore the recent road cycling trend of going off-road as the peloton climbs the partially gravelled Plateau des Glières as part of the 159km stage to Le Grand-Bornand.

Coming immediately after the first rest day, Stage 10 will take on four categorised climbs in a day that could prove pivotal in the race for the yellow jersey.

The day will start on the shores of Lake Annecy, hugging the lake for 28km before heading to the day's first climb, the 11.1km Col de la Croix Fry averaging 7.1%. If a break was unable to establish itself on the flat, this would be the perfect launchpad. 

After 15km of descending, the race will then begin to climb the Plateau des Glières, a climb new to the Tour. Not the longest at only 6km, it will test the legs of all averaging 11.2% with reported sections of 27%.

To make matters more difficult, the final 2km of the climb will take place on a gravel road meaning consideration of tyre pressure will be an added stress.

A technical descent will take the remaining peloton into Thorens-Glieres beginning the start of a tranquil 35km before the double punch of the day's final two mountain passes, the Col de Romme and Col de la Colombiere.

Both climbs will account for 16km of climbing withing the final 40km providing a perfect launchpad for attack.

Following the attritional cobbled Stage 9 to Roubaix and a rest day, this mountainous day to Le Grand-Bornand will provide an intriguing watch.

Tradtionally, mountain stages that follow rest days have provided large time gaps in the General Classification race and this should be no exception.

This could be the perfect stage for GC riders who lost time on the cobbles of Roubaix to reignite their hopes. Expect the likes of Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Dan Martin (UAE-Team Emirates) to be on the offensive on this tough day.

Le Grand-Bornand is no stranger to Tour de France stage finishes, famously hosting a stage in 2009.

On a stage not too dissimilar to this year's, Alberto Contador duelled with the Schleck brothers en route to overall victory, with Frank Schleck taking stage honours.

Britain's Bradley Wiggins finished sixth, 3 minutes adrift of the leading trio.

Stage 10 will also be the battleground of the plucky amatuers attempting this year's Etape du Tour, the yearly sportive that emmulates a stage of that year's Tour.

Riders will be expected to ride the same route as the professionalls taking on all four of the climbs in this year's stage on 8th July, nine days before the pro peloton reaches Annecy.

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