Vannes is an old acquaintance of La Grande Boucle. As long ago as 1928 the race visited the town in north western France. The most recent tête-à-tête was in 1993 with Belgian Wilfried Nelissen taking the stage.
The team time trial may be short, but the road on the Brittany coast can be tricky with winds. In addition, the last 1.7 kilometres are up Côte de Cadoudal – a climb at 6.2% with a steepest section of 7.2%. No Mont Ventoux, but a killer nevertheless after 26 gruelling team time trial kilometres.
Bernard Hinault must be pleased with the arrival in Plumelec. The proud Breton not only calls his Brittany the cradle of French cycling, to make the visit even more glorious he won the 1985 prologue in the village of 2.000 inhabitants in what turned out to be his last overall victory in his beloved Tour de France.
After 2008’s Grand Départ in Brest stage 1 finished in Plumelec at exact the same point as today, atop Côte de Cadoudal. Alejandro Valverde showed his puncheur’s skills and took the stage.
Tour de France 2015 stage 9: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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