The finale of stage 9 in the Tour de France was in the 6th stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné, too. Jakob Fuglsang bested Richie Porte in a photo-finish, while Chris Froome finished in third and Fabio Aru in fourth.
The route from Nantua to Chambéry takes in seven intermediate climbs, three of which are hors catégorie. Gradients in the double digits are no exception, so favourites to win the stage have to be able to handle quite a few nasty ramps. In particular Col de la Biche is a challenging ascent of 10.5 kilometres at 9%, while the Grand Colombier is climbed from the steepest side, which means a 8.5 kilometres toil at 9.9%. Riders can take comfort in the fact that these monsters are packed in the first half of the race.
Yet, the Mont du Chat is not for the faint of heart either. The last climb is the door to the finale with some 35 kilometres remaining. The Mont du Chat is 8.7 kilometres and averaging 10.3%. After cresting a 12.5 kilometre drop runs to a small climb before the last 10 kilometres are flat.
The descent is extremely technical and in the Dauphiné Froome put huge pressure on the other escapees, Porte, Aru and Fuglsang. He came within an ace of distancing himself. This made clear that his successful attack on the descent of the Peyresourde in last year’s Tour de France was no coincidence. Froomey is holding a new weapon: downhill!
Favourites 9th stage 2017 Tour de France
*** Chris Froome, Fabio Aru, Richie Porte, Romain Bardet
** Fabio Aru, Tim Wellens, Tony Gallopin, Jarlinson Pantano, Alberto Contador
* Rafal Majka, Sergio Henao, Jakob Fuglsang, George Bennett, Rigoberto Uran, Pierre Latour
Tour de France 2017 stage 9: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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Col de la Biche and Grand Colmbier
Climb details Mont du Chat
Profile final kilometres 9th stage
Route final kilometres 9th stage
Profile intermediate sprint 9th stage
Details intermediate sprint 9th stage
Teams hotels 9th stage