The historic center of Abbeville suffered under one night of heavy bombing by the German Luftwaffe during the Blitz at the beginning of WWII. Apparently the town, also known for its rhubarb, has good relations with the ASO, because in 2012 stage 4 (to Rouen) started here. André Greipel was the man in bonus.
The peloton rides along the Normandy coast to Le Havre, another French town that was heavily bombed during that time and was almost completely razed to the ground. This times it was the Americans, who were aware of the strategic importance of the second port of France. After the rapid rebuilding the ‘new’ Le Havre was awarded a spot on the World Heritage List.
The race is on rolling terrain and featuring several hills, with three of them labelled category 4. None of the categorized climbs is anywhere near the finale, but then again, the finish is uphill after a nasty final stretch tailor made for the likes of Sagan and Degenkolb.
Le Havre hosted the Tour de France 19 times, the last time being in 1995 with Mario Cippolini outsprinting the pack.
Le Havre debuted in La Grande Boucle in 1911 after a stage in 361 kilometres, certainly not unique in those days. Paul Duboc was the victor that day, like he was so often that year, winning four out of fifteen stages and finishing second in the overall.
Race results/stage report, stage 6, Tour de France 2015.
Tour de France 2015 stage 6: Route maps, height profiles, and more
Click on the images to zoom.
Intermediate sprint 6th stage
Final kilometres 6th stage
Start and finish at Google Maps
Tour de France Tweets