Mâcon hosted its last Tour de France in 2012. That stage took in three mountains and it turned out to be a day for the breakaway. Thomas Voeckler finished solo in Bellegarde-sur-Valserine.
The 2019 stage from Mâcon runs to Saint-Étienne. The capital of the Loire department is a popular arrival town in La Grande Boucle with 22 stage finishes since 1950. It has been a while though. The 2014 Tour de France saw the last stage finish in Saint-Étienne with Alexander Kristoff outsprinting Peter Sagan and Arnaud Demaré at the end of a demanding hilly race.
The route is teeming with hills, yet only five of these are classified. At an elevation of 827 metres, the highest point of the day is the summit of the Côte d’Affoux. It is crested at kilometre 97, but no KOM points are awarded.
Riders who are eyeing up the polka dot jersey have to be alert at kilometre 51. This is the summit of the Col de Croix Montmain, which is a 6.1 kilometres climb at 7%. At kilometre 71 more KOM points can be gained at the Col de Croix de Thel (4.1 kilometres at 8.1%) before the Col de La Croix Paquet (2.1 kilometres at 9.7%) after 84 kilometres in the saddle.
Following the passage over the Côte d’Affoux the second half of the race offers two more KOM climbs. Côte de la Croix de Part peaks at kilometre 133 after a 4.9 kilometres climb at 7.9%. The Côte d’Aveize is also polka dot material. The 5.2 kilometres climb at 6.4% is crested with 50 kilometres remaining. The route continues to go either up or down, but KOM points are not awarded, so aspiring climbers can slow down.
Yet, those riders with an appetite for the stage win face a challenging finale, while overall contenders could earn bonus seconds on the Côte de la Jaillière, a 3 kilometres climb with its crest 12 kilometres before the line. The first three riders over the crest win 3, 2 and 1 seconds. A descent leads to a punchy climb in the final kilometres and an ensuing downhill run-in to the finish in Saint-Étienne.
Time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds are awarded to the first three riders on the line of the 8th stage of the 2019 Tour de France.
Tour de France 2019 stage 8: route map, height profile, and more
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