Tour de France 2021 – Stage 8 Preview

Otto I. Eovaldi
108th tour de france 2021 stage 7

Chris GraythenGetty Illustrations or photos

Stage 8 – Oyonnax to le Grand Bornand – 150.8km – Saturday, July 3rd

Following Friday’s grueling, 250km affair that observed racing go à bloc from the get started, the 2021 Tour de France riders get no relaxation on the weekend. As an alternative, the race enters the high mountains for the 1st time with this 150.8km stage that goes into the coronary heart of the Alps.

The working day begins out with an uncategorized ascent appropriate from the begin in Oyonnax, which ought to spring the day’s breakaway. While 100km shorter than the former day, this will be a critical check for all GC contenders because of to the blend of large climbs and a descent to the finish. Like Friday, the breakaway could be fueled by a significant amount of riders and the uphill commence will favor attackers around the chase.

Finally, issues will relaxed down a little bit as the riders traverse the Haute-Savoie area on the way to the significant climbs. Those definitely get going all around 100km in, with the Category 1 Côte de Mont-Saxonneaux. But the significant test will be the pairing of the Classification 1 Col de Romme and the Col de la Colombière, a person of the most renowned Tour climbs. Mainly because the pack techniques the Colombière from a saddle off the Romme, it is not as long as other strategies. But jointly, they make up 18km of climbing whole, with only a brief, 4km descent amongst the two climbs (there are a few technological spots on that descent, so observe for gaps or crashes).

Issues get steepest at the major of the Colombière, exactly where the remaining 2.5km of ascent common virtually 10 p.c gradient. The descent to the village of le Grand Bornand is not extremely steep or technological, but there are some switchbacks. It is a very good working day for a breakaway to endure to the finish, but it also will make for some watchful riding for the GC contenders, as defensive-minded riders consider to neutralize these gambling on an assault.

No matter what may be happening with the crack, the most probable circumstance for the favorites is a late assault on the Colombière to get a gap, which a fantastic descender need to be capable to hold to the complete. This will be the initially significant test of defending winner Tadej Pogačar’s crew. With Mathieu van der Poel all but specific to lose the race direct, MvdP’s Alpecin-Fenix group won’t be a significant component in managing the chase (in truth, they may well pursue a related strategy to Friday, putting riders in the crack rather). That will hand the role to Pogačar’s UAE-Emirates workforce to do the work, as they did Friday. If rivals like Ineos and Jumbo-Visma race intelligent and patiently, there could be options to put Pogačar on the defensive.

Riders to View

The past time the race concluded in le Grand Bornand, in 2018, it was Julian Alaphilippe who emerged victorious from the breakaway. He’s an evident risk for the get. Other probable breakaway protagonists could incorporate Israel Start-Up Nation, which sort of inexplicably skipped Friday’s massive transfer (once again, the ideal shot arrives from Dan Martin and Michael Woods). Groups like BikeExchange (most likely Lucas Hamilton), Bahrain-Victorious (Wout Poels and Pello Bilbao), and Astana (Jakob Fuglsang and Alex Aranbaru) could also figure. Among the the GC riders, we’d search to another person like Ineos’ Richard Carapaz as the most probably attacker, as he was on Friday. Carapaz is a great climber and descender, has a solid tactical sense for the race, and has to be intense if he needs to enhance his posture in the standings. He could locate an ally in EF Education-Nippo’s Rigoberto Uran.

When to Tune In

Most of the motion in this phase will materialize correct at the beginning and in the final 30 or so kilometers. With the main emphasis getting the previous few kilometers of the Colombière climb and the descent, expect the pack to experience tempo about the Romme. If you start your stream at the summit of the Romme, you are going to catch the descent, the climb of the Colombière, and the drop to the finish in le Grand Bornand. By the fastest predicted velocity in the timetable, that would mean about 10:15 Japanese. But Friday’s stage is a reminder that spicy racing can lead to quicker periods, so hold an eye on the tempo to make certain you really do not get started your stream also late.

How to watch the 2021 Tour de France

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