The Tour de France never visited Vierzon before. The riders clip into their pedals in the town of 26,000 ‘Vierzonnais’ for a long day in the saddle. The route predominantly traverses undulating terrain in the first half before the second half enters the energy-sapping hills of the Morvan region.
There are lots of non-classified uphill sections that add to the fatigue, while five classified climbs stand out. After almost 160 kilometres in the saddle the riders tackle the Côte de Château-Chinon (3.2 kilometres at 5.3%) and immedately after the descent the route points uphill again. The first 10 kilometres are a prelude to the Côte de Glux-en-Genne, which is a 2.6 kilometres climb at 4.2%. Not steep in itself, but it’s not an isolated test, is it?
The Côte de la Croix de la Libération (4.6 kilometre at 5.3%) ushers in the finale, as the end of the downhill coincides with the start of the most demanding climb of the day. At kilometre 222.4, the riders tackle the unprecedented Signal d’Uchon. It’s a 5.7 kilometres climb at 5.7%, but that’s a biased statistic. The first half goes up at approximately 6% before a flat section – a short descent even – makes way for another face of the Signal d’Uchon. Almost 1 kilometre rises at 9.4% before the last 700 metres climb at 13.1% to the summit. Still 18 kilometres to go at this point.
The Côte de la Gourloye is the last obstacle of the day. The 2.4 kilometres at 5.3% is not as nasty as the Signal d’Uchon though, while it’s crested with 8 kilometres to go to Le Creusot.
The Tour de France finished two times before in Le Creusot. On both occasions the industrial town was the end point of a time trial. Jan Ullrich took the spoils in 1998, Serhiy Honchar in 2006.
The first three riders on the line gain time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds. Furthermore, 8, 5 and 2 seconds are available at the Signal d’Uchon.
Another interesting read: results 7th stage.
Tour de France 2021 stage 7: routes, profiles, more
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