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TDF 2020 - Stage 8: Cazères-sur-Garonne - Loudenvielle 141 km *Spoilers*

Stage 8: Cazères-sur-Garonne - Loudenvielle 141 km

The first of two stages in the Pyrenees packs three major climbs into less than 100 km, including the HC Port de Balès. The race kicks off in Cazères-sur-Garonne to finish downhill in Loudenvielle.


Christian Prudhomme's comment

The first Pyrenees stage was designed on a course that will be both dynamic and demanding. In less than 100 kilometres, the riders will have to reach the Col de Menté followed by the Port de Balès and the Col de Peyresourde. A fine downhiller could then have the opportunity to make a difference on a descent of around ten kilometres to the finish.



At 140 kilometres, the 8th stage on the Tour de France is not exactly long. Following a prolonged (false) flat opening phase the riders crest the Col de Menté half-way through the race. The second half is where the real action is to be expected. Following two huge climbs the decisive factor will be the downhill of the Col de Peyresourde.



Following a prolonged (false) flat opening phase the riders crest the Col de Menté half-way through the race. The first 7 kilometres of the Menté climb at approximately 3%, but a dramatic shift occurs in Pont de l’Oule. It is here that the ascent really kicks in with a 15.5% ramp to continue with a slope hovering at around 8% all the way to the top.



From base to summit, the Menté is 18 kilometres long and the average gradient sits at 4.6%.
Up next is the Port de Balès. Effectively, the road begins to slope at kilometre 80, but this is merely a false flat. The climb starts to show its teeth at kilometre 95 and continues to do so for 11.7 kilometres until the riders reach the top. The average gradient on the Port de Balès is 7.7%.



Close to the infamous chaingate spot...




The last climb of the day, Col de Peyresourde, is an old acquaintance of the Tour de France. The ascent, which features in the race since 1910. This way, the climb is 9.7 kilometres long while the average gradient sits at 7.8%, peaking out to double digits at times. The first three riders over the Peyesourde gain time bonuses of 8, 5 and 2 seconds.





Aficionados of downhill finales are treated in the 8th stage. The race serves two massive ascents in the last 50 kilometres before a steep descent to the line.
Obviously, how the race unfolds depends largely on the general classification. And on how motivated the teams/GC riders are to take the yellow jersey ahead of the first rest day. The course lends itself to keep the breakaway within range and go for the stage victory and the bonus seconds, both on the line and at the Peyresourde.

Favourites 8th stage 2020 Tour de France

*** Primoz Roglic, Tadej Pogacar, Miguel Ángel López
** Egan Bernal, Bauke Mollema, Tom Dumoulin, Adam Yates, Emanuel Buchmann
* Daniel Felipe Martínez, Julian Alaphilippe, Sergio Higuita, Romain Bardet


Cazères-sur-Garonne

No previous stage

Population: 4,960
While Cazères never hosted a Tour de France stage, in spite of the dynamism of local club Sprinter Club Carezien, the peloton will not be lost in this Comminges area that the race has visited so often in the past.
Cazeres lies in the arrondissement of Muret, start of a stage in 2015, and 30-km halfway between St. Gaudens and St. Girons where the Tour made frequent stops. Cazeres is also neighbouring Martres-Tolosane, a town which held several stage finishes on the Route d’Occitane, like in 2019 when Arnaud Demare won a bunch sprint.



Specialities: foie gras, wines of Fronton, porc cazérien (labelled pork breed), duck civet





Loudenvielle

Three previous stages

Population: 320

Loudenvielle hosted in its own name three stages of the Tour de France between 1997 (stage win by Laurent Brochard on Bastille Day) and 2007, where victory was awarded to Luxembourg’s Kim Kirchen after Alexandre Vinokourov was ruled out for doping. In 2003, while Gilberto Simoni won on the Louron, it was in Loudenvielle that Richard Virenque definitely conquered his 6th polka-dot jersey to equal Federico Bahamontès and Lucien Van Impe. The village can also claim the 1991 victory in Val Louron by Claudio Chiappucci ahead of Miguel Indurain. That day, the Spaniard took the reins of the Tour for five years while Greg LeMond faltered badly.



Specialties: black pork of Bigorre (AOC), Tarbes beans, wines (Madiran and Pacherenc of Vic Bilh AOC), Barèges-Gavarnie AOC mutton, Trébons onions, Gascony hen, Garbure, Foie gras, spit cake…


















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

  • ProssPross Posts: 29,936
    Feels like a Yates or Roglic type stage if the GC lot decide to race but I think there'll be some tired legs and a break will go. Maybe the day for De Gendt?
  • I would have said a possible stage for De Gendt before today, but maybe he overdid it today?

    Can't agree with the choice of Madiran wine - I've never had a bottle I've enjoyed yet (I heard it was the favourite wine of pope John Paul II, maybe his promotion for a wine from around Lourdes?)

    The descent from Peyresourde was where Voigt borrowed a youth's bike for 15 kms, Voigt's handlebars having been broken in his crash.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 18,254
    edited September 2020
    jimmyjams said:



    Can't agree with the choice of Madiran wine - I've never had a bottle I've enjoyed yet (I heard it was the favourite wine of pope John Paul II, maybe his promotion for a wine from around Lourdes?)

    Uruguay has the answer.

    Weather approaching the big lumps.



    At the finish.






    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • m.r.m.m.r.m. Posts: 2,430
    jimmyjams said:


    Can't agree with the choice of Madiran wine - I've never had a bottle I've enjoyed yet (I heard it was the favourite wine of pope John Paul II, maybe his promotion for a wine from around Lourdes?)

    Well he is rather used to water turning into wine though.
    PTP Champion 2019
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,519
    edited September 2020
    m.r.m. said:

    jimmyjams said:


    Can't agree with the choice of Madiran wine - I've never had a bottle I've enjoyed yet (I heard it was the favourite wine of pope John Paul II, maybe his promotion for a wine from around Lourdes?)

    Well he is rather used to water turning into wine though.

    I don't think he ever personally did that. I think you're thinking of... oh what's the name.... has the initials JC..... aghhhh

    Edit: Jacob's Creek! That's it
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • DeadCalmDeadCalm Posts: 3,760
    One for the breakaway, right?
    Team My Man 2022:

    Antwan Tolhoek, Sam Oomen, Tom Dumoulin, Thymen Arensman, Remco Evenepoel, Simon Carr, Tom Pidcock, Mark Cavendish, Romain Bardet
  • dish_dashdish_dash Posts: 5,256
    edited September 2020
    That Astrolabe on the right is delicious! Think I might have a bottle still, might pull it out for tonight... Thanks for the reminder!
  • I'm excited for this stage. Maybe moreso because I have absolutely nothing to do today so will be able to watch every pedal stroke. It's annoying that Eurosport and ITV end up overlapping advert breaks as the day progresses so usually in the 2 hours they are on a break at the same time.

    How many kilometres up the port de bales will it be before Rolland goes off on his customary 500 metre attack?
  • This is the area I should have been riding in this summer. Port de Bales is such a nice climb.
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,936

    This is the area I should have been riding in this summer. Port de Bales is such a nice climb.

    I'm trying to work out if it justifies HC status, from the profile details it must be touch and go whether it gets HC or Cat 1
  • Pross said:

    This is the area I should have been riding in this summer. Port de Bales is such a nice climb.

    I'm trying to work out if it justifies HC status, from the profile details it must be touch and go whether it gets HC or Cat 1
    It's always subjective though, isn't it? Organisers probably felt like they needed an HC climb somewhere on the stage for publicity or to hype it up as a harder stage then the previous ones to viewers and it was the more reasonable choice. I guess there might be some thinking about the extra points changing the way the stage is potentially raced, although I doubt it.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 18,138
    edited September 2020
    It's uphill to that point, and hard enough for HC, but not the hardest
  • Port de Balès has always been classed as HC and I'd guess this won't change so long as nothing harder is included in the Pyrennees' stages of the same-year Tour – the Pyrennees always get at least one (token) HC.
  • Luz Ardiden has always been HC, and it's as hard as that.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 17,147
    I'm 2/3 the way through doing the stage virtually so here's my take.
    Col de Mente. Launchpad for the breakaway and the peloton sorting out the wheat from the chaff.
    Port de Bales. GC thinning out and keeping the breakaway in check. Not the hardest climb but long enough to be wearing.
    From memory the Col de Peyresourde isn't too hard until the last 1-2kms so I envisage a sprint finish for GC.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 23,356
    edited September 2020
    Tell you what, this week's ITV4 package is very tempting...

    (Quite what one does with 2000 squids of kit though...)

    Depart Fictif a commencé
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • Do wish that the ASO would insist that no team can wear a yellow jersey. Makes it difficult to distinguish Jumbo from the leader
  • DeadCalmDeadCalm Posts: 3,760
    edited September 2020
    Zakarin the best placed rider in the break at 16'39". M-S are quite happy to let the break have this.
    Team My Man 2022:

    Antwan Tolhoek, Sam Oomen, Tom Dumoulin, Thymen Arensman, Remco Evenepoel, Simon Carr, Tom Pidcock, Mark Cavendish, Romain Bardet
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 23,356
    Some climbing power in the break...

    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • DeadCalmDeadCalm Posts: 3,760
    Gap is 7'17.
    Team My Man 2022:

    Antwan Tolhoek, Sam Oomen, Tom Dumoulin, Thymen Arensman, Remco Evenepoel, Simon Carr, Tom Pidcock, Mark Cavendish, Romain Bardet
  • alan_aalan_a Posts: 1,417
    Loving the old guy in the yellow Tshirt riding on the cycle path above both the break and peloton.

    Peloton on a go slow. Wanting the break to win the stage and leave the end of the day for a GC only battle?
  • Zakarin favourite from this break group?
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,519
    edited September 2020
    Kauto5 said:

    Zakarin favourite from this break group?


    Maybe, although he's not shown much for a while. Ben Hermans has been going well this season - top 10s in Burgos and Lombardia
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • DeadCalmDeadCalm Posts: 3,760
    This could be a disaster for Cousin Jerome's Lanterne ambitions.
    Team My Man 2022:

    Antwan Tolhoek, Sam Oomen, Tom Dumoulin, Thymen Arensman, Remco Evenepoel, Simon Carr, Tom Pidcock, Mark Cavendish, Romain Bardet
  • DeadCalmDeadCalm Posts: 3,760
    Gap now over 10 minutes.
    Team My Man 2022:

    Antwan Tolhoek, Sam Oomen, Tom Dumoulin, Thymen Arensman, Remco Evenepoel, Simon Carr, Tom Pidcock, Mark Cavendish, Romain Bardet
  • DeadCalm said:

    This could be a disaster for Cousin Jerome's Lanterne ambitions.

    Always the way with the tour though, isn't it? You have to be absolutely on it every day, and just one jour avec can wreck the whole shebang.
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 10,450
    Team competition stuff .Scott look really reluctant
    "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
  • DeadCalmDeadCalm Posts: 3,760
    Feared it would be like this.
    Team My Man 2022:

    Antwan Tolhoek, Sam Oomen, Tom Dumoulin, Thymen Arensman, Remco Evenepoel, Simon Carr, Tom Pidcock, Mark Cavendish, Romain Bardet
  • m.r.m.m.r.m. Posts: 2,430
    Kauto5 said:

    Zakarin favourite from this break group?

    He isn't good at descending, so might lose it at the very end even if he attacks.
    PTP Champion 2019
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 10,450
    Nizzolo packs
    "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
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