Paris-Nice 2015 Route stage 4: Varennes-sur-Allier - Croix de Chaubouret
Thursday, March 12, 2015 – Stage 4 takes the riders in 204 kilometres from Varennes-sur-Allier to Croix de Chaubouret. It is the longest and most hilly parcours of the week. Uphill finish after a regular final climb of 10 kilometres at 6.7%.
En route the riders are to crest seven categorized hills, ranging from 1 kilometre at 5.1% to 6.1 kilometres at 3.5%, and they finish atop the eight one. The highest ‘climbing density’ is in at the end of the stage with six peaks in the last 60 kilometres.
Straight from the start it’s party time and with 42.5 kilometres done the riders arrive on top of the Côte de la Chival Rigon. A short drop and it goes back up again to the Col du Beau Louis at an elevation of 821 metres.
Next is an ascent to a plateau at an elevation about 300 metres that will be raced for 40 kilometres.
With 135 kilometres done the riders face a seemingly endless series of climbs. Côte de Saint-Bonnet-les Oules (2.8 kilometres at 3.7%), Côte de Saint-Héand (1 kilometre at 5.1%), Côte de la Gimond (1.8 kilometres at 6.5%), Col de la Gachet (5 kilometres at 4.4%) and Côte de la Croix Blanche (1.8 kilometres at 4.9%). The latter peaks at 753 metres and after a drop of 9 kilometres the riders arrive in Saint-Chamond for an intermediate sprint.
Once in Saint-Chamond there is 16.5 kilometres left. Actually these are all uphill, but officially the climb up La Croix de Chabouret is 10 kilometres at 6.7%.
The Tour de France crested the Col de la Croix de Chaubouret eight times, but for Paris-Nice climb it is a first. At an elevation of 1,201 metres the Chaubouret is the highest point of Paris-Nice 2015, meaning stage 4 is the Queen Stage.
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Paris – Nice 2015 stage 4: Images and more
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