The caravan sets off from Cluses. The first kilometres run upstream through the Arve valley before the punchy Côte de Domancy is likely to see a lot of attacks to form the breakaway. The short – 2.5 kilometres – but steep ascent – 9.4% – appears after 17.5 kilometres.
The climbing continues after the top of the Domancy for 6 more kilometres, although the gradients are friendlier – around 5%. The route then moves through the Arly valley to enter the Col des Saisies after 40 kilometres. The 9.4 kilometres climb averages 6.2%. The Saisies also featured in 2020, but it was tackled on another side, while Marc Hirschi was the first rider at the summit.
A 17.5 kilometres downhill leads into Beaufort and the road goes straight back up again. The Col du Pré climbs for 12.6 kilometres and the average gradient sits at 7.7%. From kilometre 7 onward the inclination is hovering around 10% before it flattens out to 4.5% just before the summit. The Pré was included for the first time in 2018, when Warren Barguil pocketed most KOM points at the peak.
A short descent and a section on the flat lead onto the next obstacle. The Cormet de Roselend is a 5.7 kilometres climb at 6.5%. Warren Barguil (2018) and Marc Hirschi (2020) were the last Tour de France contenders to reach the summit in first position.
The riders fly down another long descent to reach Bourg-Saint-Maurice-les-Arcs before a virtually flat section leads onto the finish climb. The Montée de Tignes is 21 kilometres long, while the average gradient sits at 5.6%. Halfway up the climb the route flattens out for 2.5 kilometres before continuing with a slightly steeper second half.
The riders reach Tignes with 2 kilometres remaining. The run-in to the line is flat.
The 2019 Tour de France would have seen a Tignes finish, but snow and ice on the road and landslides in the Val d’Isère decided otherwise. ASO decided to stop the stage before the riders could enter the finale.
The first three riders on the line gain time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds.
Another interesting read: results 9th stage 2021 Tour de France.
Tour de France 2021 stage 9: routes, profiles, more
Click on the images to zoom