Limoges hosted the Tour de France nine times. In 2009, stage 10 left here to finish in Issoudon. Mark Cavendish sprinted to the win, which is not to be expected today as the finish is in a ski resort.
However, the first 180 kilometres are sprinters territory. The pack heads for Massif Central and it’s there the first slopes appear, starting with Pas de Peyrol, peaking at 1,589 metres after a 5.4 kilometres climb at 8.1%. The second part is toughest with 12% in the last 3 kilometres, even containing a steepest strip at 15%.
A long drop takes the riders to Mandailles-Saint-Julien and then the Col du Perthus lays waiting. The climb is 4.4 kilometres at 7.9%. Crested with 14.5 kilometres left, the Perthus saves the steepest sections for the last 1.5 kilometre.
The closing climb, Col de Font Cère, is 3.3 kilometres at 5.9% with the first 2 kilometres being easiest. After cresting the road is a false flat down for a few kilometres, before the last few hundred metres kick in with a 6% uphill grade. Perfect for climbers with a good sprint.
In 1975 Michel Polentier soloed to victory in Le Lioran, 25 seconds ahead of his countryman Eddy Merckx. In 2016, the ski resort in central France will see the second Tour de France finish in history.
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses at 10, 6 and 4 seconds.
Race report/results 5th stage, 2016 Tour de France.
Tour de France 2016 stage 5: Route maps, height profiles, etc.
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