It’s Quatorze Juillet when the flag drops just outside Dreux and the riders head up north. The departure place hosts a Tour de France peloton for the first time in its history.
On the other side of the spectrum, Amiens and the Tour de France share a long history. The first time the race arrived in the northern French town was in 1932 when André Leducq took the stage honours. It was one of six victories for the French GC-rider, who topped it off by winning the overall that year 24 minutes and 3 seconds ahead of runner-up Kurt Stöpel.
In the sixties and seventees Amiens was popular in the Tour de France as it hosted seven stages. Rudi Altig, André Darrigade, Marino Basso, Joseph Spruyt, Eric Leman and Ronny De Witte – they all took stages in the town. The last time the race visited Amiens was in 2015, when André Greipel outsprinted Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish.
Fast forward to 2018. Although the race features two KOMs – Côte de Pacy-sur-Eure (2 kilometres at 4.3%) and Côte de Feuquerolles (2.3 kilometer at 4.3%) -, the rolling route really is a red carpet for the sprint teams.
Entering Amiens the peloton turns left with 4 kilometres left to fly down a drop. So the rhythm will be high when the riders hit a sharp right-hand bend with 2.8 kilometres to go, shortly followed by a slight left-hander. The drop ends 2 kilometres before the line with a 90-degrees left-hand bend, while the route turns left at a roundabout with 500 metres to go. The last 700 metres are slightly uphill (1%).
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the first intermediate sprint (at kilometre 86.5) is for green jersey points and the second (at kilometre 160.5) for time bonuses of 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Tour de France 2018 stage 8: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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Profile 1st intermediate sprint
Details 1st intermediate sprint
Profile 2nd intermediate sprint
Details 2nd intermediate sprint