The first part of the race is nothing special. On rolling roads the riders travel east until hitting the Montée de la Selle de Fromentel with 57 kilometres remaining. The 11 kilometres climb at 8.5% is extremely steep in the second half. The riders plunge down into the valley and shortly the Col de la Biche appears. The 6.4 kilometres ascent at 8.9% peaks out with roughly 45 kilometres left to race.
With the preliminary climbs of the race done we should be able to pinpoint whether or not the stage winner is part of the breakaway. If the gap is big enough, yes, but when the GC riders are approaching rapidly the Grand Colombier stage could easily turn into a huge battle for the yellow jersey. Whatever the scenario, the finish climb is going to be brutal.
The descent off the Col de la Biche takes the riders to the Rhône and after a few kilometres in the valley they tackle the Grand Colombier. The climb is 17.4 kilometres long and the average gradient sits at 7.1%, while the hardest part is the irregularity. False flat sections play leapfrog with double digit ramps. A sprint for victory will be agonizing to watch, as the last 400 metres rise at 10%.
Recently, the Queen Stage in the Tour de l’Ain was played out on virtually the same route. Egan Bernal, Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Bauke Mollema, Tom Dumoulin, Steven Kruijswijk – they were all lined-up. But Primoz Roglic took the spoils, finishing off strong team-play by Jumbo-Visma.
Favourites 15th stage 2020 Tour de France
*** Primoz Roglic, Tadej Pogacar, Thibaut Pinot
** David Gaudu, Lennard Kämna, Emanuel Buchmann, Daniel Felipe Martínez
* Marc Soler, Miguel Ángel López, Nairo Quintana, Mikel Landa, Egan Bernal
Take a look at the route of the 15th stage on the Tour de France.