Tour de France 2015 Route stage 14: Rodez - Mende
Saturday, July 18, 2015 – After stages at the Wall of of Huy and Mûr de Bretagne, today brings the third race ending with a short and steep climb. At the end of the 178 kilometres route leading form Rodez and Mende it’s up to the puncheurs to show their strength. Or will an escapee be outsmarting favourites like Purito and Sagan? (Slideshow route/profile)
After 1984 and 2010 it’s the third time in history Rodez is departure town in La Grande Boucle. Those stages led to Domaine du Rouret and Revel, today the pack heads for Mende.
After a hilly opening of the stage the route flattens out when reaching the valley of the River Tarn. After 80 kilometres the riders say goodbye to the valley near Sainte-Enimie and the road rises again for 9 kilometres at 6%.
With 9 kilometres left Côte de Chabrits lays waiting – 1.9 kilometre at 6%. Perfect spot to attack!
Wall of Jalabert
The end of the hilly stage leading through Massif Central is bound to finish atop and the organisation choose wisely. The French love the climb up to Mende since the first time is 1995 when their hero Laurent Jalabert won the stage while wearing the green jersey. To make it even more special it was Bastille Day.
In subsequent years the French were not that lucky anymore. In 2005 it was Marcos Serrano taking the win and in 2010 Joaquim Rodríguez glorified. The latter will doubtless be up to something on July 18th. He surely knows how to tackle the 3 kilometres climb at 10.1%.
Once atop it does not pay off to cheer immediately since the finish line is 1.5 kilometres down the road. The first kilometre is descending, while the road is slightly going up again in the final 500 metres. Interesting finale!
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