Mouilleron-Saint-Germain is a tiny village and it welcomes the Tour de France to pay hommage to two of its most famous inhabitants – Georges Clemenceau and Jean de Lattre de Tassigny. The first was nicknamed Father Victory: he was a principal architect of the Treaty of Versailles at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. The second was one of the grand commander-in-chiefs of the French Liberation Army in World War II.
The riders leave Mouilleron-Saint-Germain to head southeast, although this is merely a feint. Shortly the route changes to the northeast. With fields on the left and fields on the right, the Tour de France is moving through a rolling landscape. Côte de Pouzauges – 1 kilometres at 3.9% – is the hardest climb, which tells aptly tells the story of the 2nd stage. We should expect a bunch sprint in La Roche-sur-Yon.
The route features some gentle uphill sections in the last 5 kilometeres. With 4.7 kilometres to go a 400 metres stretch at 3% begins and 2.3 kilometres before the line the route rises at 2.5% for 700 metres. The arrival is not entirely flat either, it’s a false flat of 800 metres (2%). A 90-degrees left-hand turn with 900 metres left is something to be aware of, too.
It’s been a long time since the Tour de France visited La Roche-sur-Yon, but in the thirties the arrival place was a regular host. René Le Grèves took the win in 1934 and 1935, 1936 saw a Marcel Kint victory, while Roger Lapebie was the victor in 1937. The last Tour de France stage winner in La Roche-sur-Yon was the then World Champion Eloi Meulenberg in 1938. Is reigning World Champion Peter Sagan going to step in his shoes?
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the last of the two intermediate sprints (at kilometre 132 at kilometre 168.5) comes with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
The 2nd stage of the 2018 Tour de France starts at 13:20 and the finish is expected around 17:35 – both local times (scheduled times).
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Tour de France 2018 stage 2: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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3D bird’s eye route
La-Roche-sur-Yon and Mouilleron-St.-Germain at Google maps