Tour De France 2013 Stage 9 Saint Girons To Bagneres De Bigorre Preview

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Updated: July 7, 2013

The end of a tiring stage 8 and the hardest part isn’t over, it hasn’t even started, a 165 kilometre race that promises a lot of climbs. As stage 8 showed us, even strong favourites can be dropped if they don’t have a strong enough team for the climbs. Five difficult climbs between 5 and 13 kilometres in length ad an average gradient of over 7 %, so this should really separate the men from boys.

Stage 9 2013 tour de france map profile

What To Expect

As previously mentioned, climbs in this stage are inevitable and many racers will drop off

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from the front, even strong climbers could be dropped from the front. The summits for each mountains are 1069 m, 1349 m, 1569 m, 1580 m and 1564 m, so it isn’t going to be easy for anyone.

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The stage passes through where Fabio Casartelli was tragically killed in 1995, on the descent of the Portet d’Aspet, there is a memorial on the side of the road. Before the third climb there is about the only flat bit in the whole race leading up to the third climb which is a mountain that has a very consistent gradient but a difficult climb none-the-less. With hardly any time for a breather after that descent, there will be the fourth mountain of the day, which consists of awkward bends on the long and agonising ascent. The descent after the fourth climb will take a lot of skill, trying not to lose too much time and try and descend safely around sharp and wriggly bends. The last climb is 10 kilometres long and an average gradient of 7,5 % with a very tight bend before the descent. The road to the finish-line is 30 kilometres from the summit of Hourquette d’Ancizan (Climb 5) and is all down-hill, the cyclists should be well separated already for the descent to not make a difference to the stage or general classification.

Predictions

After a very solid performance from Team Sky (especially Peter Kennaugh), I can expect Sky to show a bit of the same performance at this stage and with Chris Froome, yet again, storming to the end in impressive fashion and leaving all his main rivals behind. I don’t see anyone contesting Froome, his main rival, Alberto Contador, showed that his dip in form earlier this year wasn’t because of his preparation for this year’s Tour De France, but actually a serious loss in form and maybe his best days are behind him, or he was more dependant on the Performance Enhancing drugs than we thought. Quintana looked like he could put Froome under serious pressure at one climb in stage 8, but then struggled on the last climb to the end, which could mean a miscalculation and misinterpretation from him and not having as much endurance and energy as he thought. Sky should be key to Froome’s performance and he should gain even more time over his rivals and keep the yellow jersey.

 

“Tour De France 2013 Stage 9 Saint Girons To Bagneres De Bigorre Preview” written by Seb True

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