The climb up the dormant volcano is extra piquant as the final 4 kilometres are solely double digit material. So the stage winner must be an hors catégorie climber.
The question that’s always hovering above stages like this – is it going to be an attacker or a GC rider? The route is going up and down the entire day, but there are no big climbs in the run-up to the finish climb. Yet, if the race is made hard enough all these minor climbs will start to feel like Mont Ventoux in the long run. So how the race unfolds will be crucial for the stage win.
Since attackers definitely will have a shot on a course such as this a huge battle for the breakaway is expected. If there are strong climbers on board and the attackers reach the foot of the Puy de Dôme with a comfortable lead, the stage winner will be at the the front. But to be frank, we think – and hope – that the flanks of the dormant volcano wil turn into a battle ground for the yellow jersey.
As mentioned, the run-up to the finish climb is far from flat without offering big climbs. Five hills stand out: Côte du Lac de Vassivière (4.4 kilometres at 4%), Côte de Felletin (2.1 kilometres at 5.2%), Côte de Pontcharraud (1.8 kilometres at 4.6%), Côte de Pontaumur (3.3 kilometres at 5.3%) and Col de la Nugère (9.2 kilometres at 2.8%). The riders plunge down the Nugère to enter the Puy de Dôme shortly after Clermont-Ferrand.
Favourites 9th stage 2023 Tour de France
*** Tadej Pogacar, Jonas Vingegaard
** Rigoberto Uran, Thibaut Pinot, Giulio Ciccone, Dylan Teuns, Felix Gall
* Neilson Powless, Marc Soler, Mikel Landa, Ruben Guereiro, Mattias Skjelmose
Another interesting read: route 9th stage 2023 Tour de France.
Tour de France 2023 stage 9: profiles
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