Tour de France 2017 Favourites stage 9: Hors catégorie climbers with strong descent

Chris Froome - Tour de France 2017 Favourites stage 9: Hors catégorie climbers with strong descentThe 9th stage in the Tour de France gives the floor to the climbers for the second day in a row. Yet, without a good descent your chances are limited. After the last climb a steep drop runs to the flat last 10 kilometres. (Slideshow route/profile)

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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