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TDF 2020 - Stage 9: Pau - Laruns 153 km *Spoilers*

Stage 9: Pau - Laruns 153 km

At 153 kilometres, stage 9 on the Tour de France serves the second test in the Pyrenees. The race between Pau and Laruns tackles three ascents to an elevation of more than 1,000 metres. The finale flies downhill into the valley for a false flat run-in of 6 kilometres.
Pau is the most visited location in Tour de France history. In 106 editions the town hosted La Grande Boucle 72 times.



Christian Prudhomme's comment

The mountainous program of the day starts with the discovery of the Col de la Hourcère which will immediately precede the climb to the Col de Soudet. For the seventh time since the beginning of the Tour, the riders will ride at an altitude of over 1,500m. They will then battle it out on the extremely steep climb up to the Col de Marie Blanque before heading back down to Laruns.



The riders leave Pau for a virtually flat opening of 50 kilometres. Then the Col de La Hourcère appears, which is a tough test. The ascent is 11.1 kilometres long and slopes at 8.8%. A short descent leads onto the next climb, the Col de Soudet. Peaking out at the highest point of the day (1,540 metres), the ascent is 3.8 kilometres at 8.5%.






A descent of roughly 20 kilometres takes the riders back into the valley before they tackle a hilly zone leading up to the last climb. The Col de Marie Blanque is 7.7 kilometres long and the average gradients sits at 8.6%. So that’s yet another steep climb, although the first part is doable. Consequently, the second part is even harder with gradients hovering around 12%. The first three riders over the Marie Blanque gain time bonuses of 8, 5 and 2 seconds.



A downhill of 12 kilometres flies down into Bilhères-en-Ossau. The riders storm through the village to tackle the last 6 kilometres, a section that runs slightly uphill.
Two editions ago the Tour also featured a finish in Laruns. The riders came from the other side. After attacking in the downhill of the Aubisque, Primoz Roglic outgunned a group with Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome and Tom Dumoulin. The Slovenian took the spoils.



Both Pyrenees stages on this year's Tour de France finish downhill. Doubtless, crazy descender Julian Alaphilippe does not mind. One could argue that this route is tailor-made for him.
Not for the first time this Tour the question springs to mind: breakaway men of GC riders? Both scenario’s are viable and a lot will depend on the GC.

Favourites 9th stage 2020 Tour de France

*** Davide Formolo, Julian Alaphilippe,
** Primoz Roglic, Tadej Pogacar, Egan Bernal, Alejandro Valverde, Matej Mohoric
* Thomas De Gendt, Daniel Martin, Romain Bardet , Alexey Lutsenko, Warren Barguil


Pau

71 previous stages

Population: 77,600 habitants
Pau is receiving the Tour de France for the 72nd time and their common history started in 1930. A basecamp before or after tackling the Pyrenees, Pau has been the start or finale of all types of stages, as the winners list confirms. Climbers like Rene Vietto or Fausto Coppi, attackers like Pierrick Fedrigo or sprinters like Sean Kelly, Erik Zabel, Robie McEwen or Arnaud Démare all raised their arms in the capital of Bearn. Last summer, Pau celebrated the 100th anniversary of the yellow jersey in style thanks to Julian Alaphilippe, who not only won the time trial on the day’s menu but also strengthened his GC lead.
With so many starts and finishes on Boulevard des Pyrenees, the Tour could not fail to create cycling vocations and many riders were born in or around Pau. It was the case for Victor Fontan, winner of two stages in 1928 and a yellow jersey holder in 1929, or 1956 team time-trial Olympic champion Arnaud Geyre and more recently Stéphane Augé, who rode the Tour eight times, Mathieu Ladagnous, with six participations, and Team Ineos DS Nicolas Portal, who sadly departed in Spring after leading his riders to six Tour de France victories.






Laruns

Two previous stages

Population: 1,200
On the 2018 Tour de France, Laruns hosted a finish which saw one of the boldest and most skilful descents of the Aubisque by Slovenian, Primoz Roglic.
Laruns was in 1985 the start of half-stage on a great day for team La Redoute. Their leader Stpehen Roche won at Col d’Aubisque in the morning, challenging La Vie Claire joint leaders Bernard Hinault and Greg Le Mond. In the afternoon, Roche’s teammate Regis Simon, beat breakaway companion Alvaro Pino on the road to Pau.



Specialities: lamb, garbure (soup), Ossau cheese.















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

  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,875 Lives Here
    I would categorise the marie-blanque as a cat 2...
  • alan_aalan_a Posts: 1,417

    I would categorise the marie-blanque as a cat 2...

    From the east I would agree with you, but it's a narrow steep wee fecker from the west.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 14,383
    One of two stages where sagan stands a chance of getting the intermediate points, so I expect him to be in the break.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,519

    One of two stages where sagan stands a chance of getting the intermediate points, so I expect him to be in the break.


    And surely QS, with no more GC ambitions, will stop him.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 14,383
    RichN95. said:

    One of two stages where sagan stands a chance of getting the intermediate points, so I expect him to be in the break.


    And surely QS, with no more GC ambitions, will stop him.
    How? Sagan will out climb Bennett.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,519

    RichN95. said:

    One of two stages where sagan stands a chance of getting the intermediate points, so I expect him to be in the break.


    And surely QS, with no more GC ambitions, will stop him.
    How? Sagan will out climb Bennett.
    They'll chase him down whenever he tries to get in a break. A break that he's not in will go before they get to the big climb
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • gweedsgweeds Posts: 2,376
    alan_a said:

    I would categorise the marie-blanque as a cat 2...

    From the east I would agree with you, but it's a narrow steep wee fecker from the west.
    agreed. I’ve ridden it from that side and it’s not fun
    Napoleon, don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter.
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,726
    gweeds said:

    alan_a said:

    I would categorise the marie-blanque as a cat 2...

    From the east I would agree with you, but it's a narrow steep wee fecker from the west.
    agreed. I’ve ridden it from that side and it’s not fun
    It lulls you into a false sense of security too. You're riding up thinking "this is alright, don't know what all the fuss is about" and then you hit the second half of the climb and suddenly you're scrambling for lower gears.

    The second time I did it, I'd dropped my mate Ken, but then as I reached the summit he was sat at the side of the road waiting for me and I couldn't work out what the hell was going on. Turns out he'd got heat stroke, had stopped and was lying at the side of the road and a passing motorist saw him, stopped and offered him a lift to the top, which he gratefully accepted.
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 10,450
    edited September 2020

    I would categorise the marie-blanque as a cat 2...

    It's no laughing matter from that side .
    "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
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 10,450
    RichN95. said:

    RichN95. said:

    One of two stages where sagan stands a chance of getting the intermediate points, so I expect him to be in the break.


    And surely QS, with no more GC ambitions, will stop him.
    How? Sagan will out climb Bennett.
    They'll chase him down whenever he tries to get in a break. A break that he's not in will go before they get to the big climb
    Agreed the break will need to form before the first climb on the flat . But
    Stranger things have happened .
    "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
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,932

    I would categorise the marie-blanque as a cat 2...

    Longer and steeper than the Mente was on today's stage.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 14,383
    RichN95. said:

    RichN95. said:

    One of two stages where sagan stands a chance of getting the intermediate points, so I expect him to be in the break.


    And surely QS, with no more GC ambitions, will stop him.
    How? Sagan will out climb Bennett.
    They'll chase him down whenever he tries to get in a break. A break that he's not in will go before they get to the big climb
    Cavendish (and others) missed a trick all those years.
  • DK weather man says likely low cloud on the tops today. Could be damp and miserable up there
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • Interested in Formolo getting three stars today - is he likely to be allowed to break away?
  • Asgreen and De Gendt the day's bouncers. "You're not getting in the break with that shirt on, mate"
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • Hirschi attack after the first climb, has to unclip for a crazy save overcooking a corner
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 10,450
    WvA trying to get in the break
    "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
  • Millar says patrolling break with Tony Martin.
  • Marie Blanque is hard, but short and summits at 18 km to the finish... nobody will move, waste of a Pyrenean stage
  • Ala off alone as noone can keep up
  • Some tired legs before they get to the foot of the next climb?
  • Brought back. Peloton very stretched out
  • Ala catapulted off. With another DQS.
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 10,450
    Lot of green jersey types trying to get into the 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
  • Been waiting for the breakaway silly stage season to start....
    60kph average so far
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • Brought back again. Compelling viewing.
  • 20mph up at 7% climb.
  • Aru being Aru again.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • WVA just having lunch there, as you do.
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 10,450

    20mph up at 7% climb.

    Have a gel you'll be alright
    "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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