Limoux hosted the Tour twice, on both occasions as a departure place. In 2011 the race went to Montpellier, where Mark Cavendish sprinted to victory, while Luis León Sánchez won the Limoux-Foix stage in 2012.
Once again the riders go to Foix, although the route now continues to the foot of the Prat d’Albis climb for the final haul up on a narrow and twisting road. The climb amounts to 11,8 kilometres at 6.9%, although that statistic is biased. The first half of the Prat d’Albis is much tougher than the average suggests. The fourth kilometre goes up at 10.5% and the sixth at 11%.
Before tackling the ultimate climb the riders face the Col de Montségur, Port de Lers and the illustrious Mur de Péguère with its steepest ramps at 18%. The first ascent is the Montségur pass – 6.8 kilometres at 6% -, above which the ruined Cathar castle with the same name is perched.
A flat section leads to Tarascon-sur-Ariège before a false flat takes the riders to the foot of the Port de Lers. The riders tackle the 11.4 kilometres climb at 7% after almost 110 kilometres in the saddle. Following the fast descent into Massat, the route once again starts to climb on the Mur de Péguère, which is a monster of 9.3 kilometres at 7.9%. Or, let’s rephrase that: the first six kilometres are friendly weaving upwards on the Col de Port before the actual Mur de Péguère kicks in. Which is a monster of 3.3 kilometres at almost 13%. The first three riders over the summit pocket time bonuses of 8, 5 and 2 seconds before flying down a 15 kilometres descent into Foix. Shortly the final haul up the Prat d’Albis appears.
Time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds are awarded to the first three riders on the line. Plus, the Mur de Péguère summit also serves mentioned time bonuses.
Another interesting read: results/race report 15th stage 2019 Tour de France.
Tour de France 2019 stage 15: route, profiles, more
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