TDF 2020 - Stage 4: Sisteron - Orcières-Merlette 160,5 km *Spoilers*

blazing_saddles
blazing_saddles Posts: 21,631
edited August 2020 in Pro race
Sisteron - Orcières-Merlette - Stage 4 - 160,5 km

The Tour de France this year tackles it's first summit finish as early as stage 4. At 160 kilometres, the race travels from Sisteron to ski resort Orcières-Merlette.

While the Paris-Nice peloton is familiar with Sisteron, having stopped in town a few times, the Tour de France only visited the citadel once, in 2010, for the start of a stage won in Bourg-les-Valence by Mark Cavendish.
For the cycling fan, Orcières-Merlette evokes the 1971 Tour de France and the impressive solo ride by Luis Ocana, winner in the Hautes-Alpes ski resort with a six minutes lead over Lucie Van Impe, and nearly nine minutes over Eddy Merckx. It has been 31 years since the Tour last visited Orcières-Merlette. In 1989, Dutchman Steven Rooks won the uphill ITT.





The riders set off from Sisteron to head north and cross the mountains around Dévoluy and eventually finish uphill in Orcières-Merlette.



More than 3,000 meters of climbing (9,800 feet) are on tap as the route takes in the limestone massif Dévoluy Mountains, a range in the scenic Hautes-Alpes. The GC battle heats up again with a short and punishing route.





Bad legs on the finish climb to Orcières-Merlette will surely have its impact. The final haul to the ski resort at an elevation of 1,825 metres is 7.1 kilometres long, while the average gradients sits at 6.7%.





La Grande Boucle serves its first uphill finish on the fourth day of action. The route suits long-range attackers, but will they be given the opportunity to shine by the GC riders? On paper the day is perfect for a successful breakaway. Possibly, the big guns in the peloton are so eager that they will grab every opportunity to put pressure on their opponents.

Favourites 4th stage 2020 Tour de France

*** Primoz Roglic, Julian Alaphilippe, Egan Bernal
** Bauke Mollema, Tadej Pogacar, Maximilian Schachmann
* Thomas De Gendt, Benoît Cosnefroy, Alexey Lutsenko, Adam Yates

Orcières-Merlette

Four previous stages

Population: 700

For the cycling fan, Orcières-Merlette evokes the 1971 Tour de France and the impressive solo ride by Luis Ocana, winner in the Hautes-Alpes ski resort with a six minutes lead over Lucie Van Impe, and nearly nine minutes over Eddy Merckx. The duel between the Spaniard and the Belgian was epic until the 14 th stage, when several favourites crashed in the descent of Col de Menté. Merckx made it back on his bike, as did Joop Zoetemelk. But not Ocana, forced out of the Tour. The next day, title-holder Merckx refused to wear the yellow jersey.
The Tour de France returned to Orcières-Merlette three times since with stage wins by Lucien Van impe (1972), Pascal Simon (1982) and Steven Rooks in a time trial in 1989.



Les Ecrins National Park
Created in March 1973. It is one of 10 French national parks. Covering an area of ​​159,600 ha and grouping 49 member municipalities, the Massif of Les Ecrins is a large group of high mountains (150 peaks over 3,000 m and some 10,000 ha of glaciers).










"Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
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Comments

  • No_Ta_Doctor
    No_Ta_Doctor Posts: 13,090
    Not sure how Asgreen gets a star for this, with Alaphilippe in yellow....
    On Sunday he was in the break because it was that or tow the peloton, and he was always meant to wait for Alaphilippe at the last climbs.
    Warning No formatter is installed for the format
  • Cos it was finished 2 days ago. I do these threads bit by bit, whenever I feel like it.
    Will update.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • Matti66
    Matti66 Posts: 190
    Thanks for doing them .
  • Dorset_Boy
    Dorset_Boy Posts: 6,729
    Thanks for making me feel old by informing us it is 31 years since the last finish in Orciers-Merlette! Also surprised it only featured 4 times before.
  • davidof
    davidof Posts: 3,028
    Could Yates take Yellow?
    BASI Nordic Ski Instructor
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  • Cos it was finished 2 days ago. I do these threads bit by bit, whenever I feel like it.
    Will update.

    Always wondered how you kept the quality up.
  • No_Ta_Doctor
    No_Ta_Doctor Posts: 13,090

    Cos it was finished 2 days ago. I do these threads bit by bit, whenever I feel like it.
    Will update.

    Ah, I assumed the stars were nicked from elsewhere.
    Thanks for the threads, they're marvellous.
    Warning No formatter is installed for the format
  • Cos it was finished 2 days ago. I do these threads bit by bit, whenever I feel like it.
    Will update.

    Always wondered how you kept the quality up.
    I did used to do the whole thing after each stage, but this new format is a bit of a headache when it comes to posting images.
    However, the save draft is great, unlike some other places that will only save text.

    I am a bit concerned that my internet has been on the blink and tonight it's been terrible.
    Now I really would struggle if I had to do them on my phone!

    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 25,962
    These threads are ridiculously good. I genuinely don't go anywhere else for a stage preview.

    I see De Gendt has lost 40 minutes already, setting himself up for a crack at this. Calmejane another possibility posing no threat?
  • I got Calmejane as well or Kamna if he's recovered
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 71,586
    Ah I see Rich has already done that!
  • davidof
    davidof Posts: 3,028
    edited September 2020
    It is a shame they missed the opportunity to go over the Col du Noyer as it is not too hard on the west side but is spectacular on the east.

    image
    Greg LeMan on the climb to Sorcieres-Skelettes.


    Local specialty Murson sausages (from la Mure)

    image

    Gigot du Chamois

    image
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  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 16,558
    Roglic has to make a move
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 16,558
    edited September 2020
    Calmajane has been invisible. Bit too uphilly in the finale for de gendt these days ?
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • davidof
    davidof Posts: 3,028
    It's freezing today... Anyone got the forecast for the finish
    BASI Nordic Ski Instructor
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  • Roglic has to make a move

    I thought that was usually Tom Dumoulin's party piece.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • ridgerider
    ridgerider Posts: 2,851
    edited September 2020
    Either will do, thanks.

    Edit...ah, toilet humour...
    Half man, Half bike
  • DeadCalm
    DeadCalm Posts: 4,099

    Roglic has to make a move

    Bruyneel reckons Roglic is still suffering from the Dauphine crash.

    Team My Man 2022:

    Antwan Tolhoek, Sam Oomen, Tom Dumoulin, Thymen Arensman, Remco Evenepoel, Benoît Cosnefroy, Tom Pidcock, Mark Cavendish, Romain Bardet
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 39,831
    It's going to be a dull cat and mouse with the favourites maybe hoping to pick up a second or two in the final couple of hundred metres isn't it?
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 71,586
    yeah.
  • Unless you get a great opportunity to put time into someone it's a bit early and indecisive to target it as a stage to take time on GC, isn't it? More one of those days where you can lose it, rather than one to win it.
  • 50x11
    50x11 Posts: 408
    I think Bernal likely to be in Yellow at the end of this stage, looks quietly solid, where as both stages they have made an effort Jumbo been swarmed when pace kicked up.
  • 50x11
    50x11 Posts: 408
    Not sure if this is today or yesterday but Sam B having some shoulders with a Arkea rider (Quintana?).

  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 71,586
    Is that even the Tour ? they all have arm warmers on.
  • 50x11
    50x11 Posts: 408

    Is that even the Tour ? they all have arm warmers on.

    You could be right Rick, saw it on twitter and assumed because of upload date it was. Lots of people saying it's cold.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 39,831
    Image is terrible but it doesn't look like the Irish helmet Bennett is currently using or even his kit.
  • 50x11
    50x11 Posts: 408
    I think it certainly looks like his Irish champs jersey, not sure on the helmet as you say image isn't great.
  • RichN95.
    RichN95. Posts: 27,125
    edited September 2020
    I'm fairly sure I've seen that before the Tour somewhere. I don't think it was yesterday

    Edit: It was Paris-Nice. He got a 754 euro fine and lost 40 UCI points
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • 50x11
    50x11 Posts: 408
    RichN95. said:

    I'm fairly sure I've seen that before the Tour somewhere. I don't think it was yesterday

    Edit: It was Paris-Nice. He got a 754 euro fine and lost 40 UCI points

    Good knowledge, thanks.