The team time trial is played out in and near Cholet. The town hosted the Tour de France three times before. Félicien Vervaecke won in 1936, Jeroen Blijlevens sprinted to victory in 1998, while Stefan Schumacher powered to the win in 2008’s chronorace, although the German was disqualified after testing positive on doping.
The TTT sets off on wide boulevards in the centre of Cholet. On Avenue Francis Bouet the teams hit a 700 metres climb at 5% before the route continues on long straight roads. At kilometre 7 the streets get somewhat smaller for 2 kilometres before the wide open roads are back, which obviously is perfect for the teams. Another 700 metres climb at 5% with 16 kilometres done and then it’s off to La Séguinière on a fairly easy course.
In La Séguinière – at kilometre 25 – the teams leave the main road and continue on Rue de la Bastille, which is a small street that runs uphill. The 1,500 metres climb is averaging 5% in the first half and 3% in the second half. On gently rolling roads with a few sharp curves the stage travels back to the centre of Cholet.
The winning team succeeds BMC. The black/red squad bested Team Sky with 1 second in the 2015 TTT to Plumelec.
The first squad leaves the ramp at 15:10 and the arrival of the last one is expected around 17:34 – both local times.
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