TDF 2021:- Stage 2, Perros-Guirec > Mûr-de-Bretagne Guerlédan 183.5 km **Spoilers**
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Stage 2: Perros-Guirec > Mûr-de-Bretagne Guerlédan 183.5 km27- 6 - 2021
Stage 2 of the Tour de France is a day of two halves. A first part allowing to appreciate the wild and unique beauty of the Côte de Granit rose, the second crammed with most of the six categorised climbs, including two ascents of the Mur-de-Bretagne.
That said, there’s relatively little in the way of flat roads between the start and the first climb at 72.8 kilometres. The riders then tackle a series of 4th category climbs: the Côte de Saint-Barbe (900 metres at 6.6%), Côte de Pordic (2.1 kilometres at 3.2%), Côte de Saint Brieuc (1 kilometre at 8%)
The last three climbs of the day, including the double Mur ascent, are packed together inside the last 20 kilometres.
Assuming the peloton starts the final climb in one piece, the gaps between the overall contenders should be relatively small. However, it is worth remembering that in 2018, this didn't happen, with both Tom Dumoulin and Romain Bardet having issues with their bikes and losing significant time as a result. That day, Daniel Martin attacked with around one kilometre to go and took the victory.
The Mûr-de-Bretagne climb is 2 kilometres long. The ascent kicks in hard with the first 500 metres at 10.1% before it ‘mellows out’ to 9.5% in the following 500 metres. The next 500 metres go up at 5.5%, after which the last section is a false flat at 2.4%.
By now, we all know the hilltop finish in Mûr-de-Bretagne, as it has previously featured twice in the Tour de France.
Favourites stage 2 Tour de France 2021
***** Mathieu van der Poel, Julian Alaphilippe
**** Daniel Martin, Wout van Aert, Primož Roglič, Tadej Pogačar
*** Michael Woods, Sergio Higuita, Wilco Kelderman
** Bauke Mollema, Alexey Lutsenko, Alejandro Valverde
* Jack Haig, Dylan Teuns, David Gaudu, Pierre Latour
Stage town for the 2nd time
Commune of 7,500 inhabitants, bordered by 12 km of coastline, alternately ports, rocks, creeks or large sandy beaches, Perros-Guirec has a distant past behind it. Artists, painters and writers frequented the inns of La Clarté and Ploumanac'h. One could meet Charles Le Goffic, Anatole Le Braz, Gabriel Vicaire. The landscapes of Perros-Guirec inspired and became a laboratory of ideas for many painters.
Perros-Guirec has already hosted the Tour de France in 1995, for the start of a stage won in a sprint in Vitré by Mario Cippolini and at the end of which Laurent Jalabert had taken the Yellow Jersey thanks to the bonuses gained on the way, one year to the day after his fall in Armentières.
Winner of three stages of the Tour de France in 1961 and 1963, Guy Ignolin had settled near Perros-Guirec, where he died in 2011.
Pink Granite Coast
In the department of Côtes-d'Armor, between Trébeurden and Perros-Guirec, it owes its name to the gigantic granite blocks that emerge from the moor, along the coastline. It is A kingdom of small creeks with white sand and turquoise water. Three coastlines in the world have this particularity of pink granite, resulting from the mixture of three minerals, mica, feldspar and quartz: one is located in China, the other in Corsica and the last one in Brittany. This natural geological curiosity deserves more than one visit. From east to west, the route starts at the rocks of Ploumanac'h in Perros-Guirec, a former fishing port that has become a seaside resort, with its two marinas and three large beaches.
On the road
Saint-Quay-Portrieux (Pop : 3,000)
The Bay of Saint-Brieuc has the largest natural deposit of scallops in France with 150,000 hectares. Every three years, Saint-Quay-Portrieux organises a scallop festival. Coquilles -st-Jacqus being the renowned, worldwide dish.
Stage site for the 4th time
Population: 2,560 for Guerlédan
In ten years, the Côte de Mûr or Côte de Menez-Hiez has definitively become a classic of the Tour de France and has confirmed its nickname of "Breton Alpe d'Huez". Since 2011, and the prophetic victory of Cadel Evans announcing his final victory in that edition, the Tour has twice come back to Mûr to crown punchers like Alexis Vuillermoz (2015) and Dan Martin (2018). It was however during its first appearance in the Tour, in 1947, that Côte de Mûr acquired its reputation: René Vietto suffered a terrible failure there during the longest time-trial in the history of the Grande Boucle between Vannes and Saint-Brieuc (139 km) and lost his Yellow Jersey as well as that edition, finally won by Jean Robic.
During the 1934 Tour, he was poised to be race leader after his team leader Antonin Magne crashed during stage 16. Vietto was unaware of Magne's situation; his advantage gave him the virtual race lead. A marshal on a motorcycle caught Vietto to inform him his captain was on the side of the road, with team-mate Lapébie ahead, and the other team-mates behind the yellow jersey. Vietto turned and rode back up the mountain into the descending riders (at the time, reversing course was legal, but is no longer so), to give Magne his bike. Magne mounted Vietto's bike and with Lapébie closed the gap to preserve his overall lead and win the Tour. A photograph shows Vietto sitting on a stone wall as the race passes.
Situated at the foot of Mûr de Bretagne, Lake Guerlédan is the largest lake in Brittany and extends over more than 13 km (approximately 300 ha). Entirely artificial, it came into being at the beginning of the 20th century with the construction of a hydroelectric dam at Mûr de Bretagne, on the course of the Blavet, to which Guerlédan refers, meaning "wide stream". The power plant was the first in France to produce electricity.
"Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
Dan Martin maybe?
MvdP was too far back at the foot of the climb, so maybe he's got something to bring if his positioning is better today.
And if someone goes up and over on the Mur the first time JA might have to burn his support off early.
He tends to go well in streaks though, and gets a bit of extra oomph out of the yellow, so I'd still put my money on him.
Asgreen will be interesting to watch today, BTW. If he finishes with the leaders he's got a shot at yellow in the TT. It's slim, but it's real and he knows it's there.
The Vikings are coming!
The Vikings are coming!
I had to ride back to HQ once after a heavy crash in a race (cut knee and fingers plus knock on the head) and even that was difficult. I avoided the bike for a week afterwards, these are carrying on racing with far worse injuries and having to keep up day in, day out until they recover.
Anyway, we are orf and fortunately it's again Hatch in the chair, which hopefully means no screaming banshee for the finish.
The Vikings are coming!
How much of a lead do we think DQS will give a break? My guess is not much more than 3 minutes.
Wind apparently NE rather than the SSE reported by Rick so may offer some opportunities.
Beautiful scenery today
It worked really well yesterday, because Kirby wasn't around to blow the roof off my house when the crashes happened.
I thought Dan Lloyd was underused yesterday, but he is having to do The Breakaway as well.
We all know how that Tour panned out.....