TDF 2021: Stage 8, Oyonnax > Le Grand-Bornand 150.8 km **Spoilers**
Stage 8, Oyonnax > Le Grand-Bornand 150.8 km2-7-2021
The race continues to head eastwards and into the Jura and Alpine mountain ranges for the first time this year. Oyonnax is situated in the foothills of the Jura mountains. Seven years ago the Tour de France was here for the first and last time when Tony Gallopin soloed to victory. The finish of the stage is the downhill into Le Grand-Bornand, which was last used in 2018. This time however, an extra climb has been added to the finale.
There may not be a summit finish in store for the peloton but with five categorised climbs, plus an uncategorised uphill start. The ascents are relatively easy until kilometre 100, but the last 50 kilometres will offer a new, triple climb, amounting to a distance of over 20 kms at close to 9%.
In 2018, Julian Alaphilippe launched one of his trademark attacks and crested both peaks to win ahead of Ion Izagirre.
The riders tackle the Côte de Mont-Saxonnex shortly after Bonneville. The 5.7 kilometres ascent averages 8.3%.
Almost immediately after the descent the big test of the day appears.
Between the summit of the Col de Romme and the base Col de la Colombière is a downhill section of 5.5 kilometres.
Stage 8 of the Tour de France suits attackers with climbing skills and a fast descent, but it also seems likely that the GC contenders will at least skirmish on these slopes. Some might also seek to exploit the fast descent into Le Grand-Bornand. This stage we may also get an idea about who, from the fallen GC contenders, has shifted focus towards the polka dot prize.
Favourites stage 8 Tour de France 2021
***** Tadej Pogacar
**** Dan Martin, Pello Bilbao, Michael Woods, Nairo Quintana, Ion Izagirre
*** Julian Alaphilippe, Warren Barguil, Jakob Fuglsang, Richard Carapaz
** Alexey Lutsenko, Jonas Vingegaard, Bauke Mollema, Simon Yates
* Wilco Kelderman, David Gaudu, Geraint Thomas, Ben O’Connor
Stage town for the second time
Oyonnax lies in a valley of the Jura Mountains in the far north of Ain. It is near the Parc naturel régional du Haut-Jura. The city is on the river Ange.
Oyonnax was a centre of the maquis, during the second world war and was awarded a medal for the Resistance, just like Brest, the starting town of this Tour.
The town is famous for the ancient production of wooden combs. (7th century)
On the Road
La Roche-sur-Foron (Pop: 11,200)
In 2020, La Roche-sur-Foron hosted the Tour de France for a stage won by Michal Kwiatkowski (Ineos-Grenadiers) at the end of a great breakaway with his Ecuadorian teammate Richard Carapaz.
Seven times stage town
On 17 July 2018, Julian Alaphilippe won the first of his five stage victories in the Grande Boucle in Le Grand Bornand. The Savoy resort was also on the course of the 100th edition. Rui Costa won the third stage of his career that year. He took over from Fränk Schleck, who had won in 2009 in front of Alberto Contador under the benevolent eye of his brother Andy. In 2007, the victory went to the young German Linus Gerdemann, who took the Yellow Jersey for a day.
Specialities: farmhouse reblochon, white tomme, mountain charcuterie, cheese-based specialities (fondue, tartiflette, péla), matafan (potato fritters), farcement (sweet and sour potatoes), rissoles (pan-fried apple turnover)
"Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.