TDF 2023: Stage 6:- Tarbes to Cauterets, 145km ***Spoilers***

blazing_saddles
blazing_saddles Posts: 21,960
edited July 2023 in Pro race
Stage 6:- Tarbes to Cauterets, 145km

Thursday, July 6
Start Time: 12-10pmBST.

The first mountain finish and at the same time the last day in the Pyrenees, which the peloton will only pay a short visit to in 2023. The riders clip into their pedals in Tarbes to enter the Pyrenees. The finish climb is 16 kilometres long and averaging 5.4%, while two giants - Col du Tourmalet and Col d'Aspin - account for the lion's share of the total elevation of almost 4,000 metres. Le Tour finished twice before in the mountains above Cauterets. In 1989 it was Miguel Indurain who triumphed at Le Cambasque, in 1995 Richard Virenque took the spoils on the nearby pass Les Crêtes du Lys.



The first big climb on the route is the Col d’Aspin (12 kilometres at 6.5%). The riders then descend into the valley of the Adour River, only to go up again. On the road from Tarbes to Cauterets the second hors catégorie climb of the Tour is on the menu. It’s the legendary Tourmalet, the most used ascent in the Tour de France history. The finish is 45 kilometres further up the road.



The Climbs.

Col d'Aspin
From Arreau (east), the climb is more difficult; over 12.0 km (7.5 mi) the climb averages 6.5%, gaining 779 m (2,556 ft) in height.





Col du Tourmalet elevation 2,115 m (6,939 ft)) is one of the highest paved mountain passes in the French Pyrenees. Starting from Sainte-Marie-de-Campan, the eastern climb is 17.2 km (10.7 mi), gaining 1,268 m (4,160 ft), at an average of 7.4% with a maximum of 12%.[





The Le Cambasque climb is not the hardest climb in the world. But it’s long – 16 kilometres at 5.4%.



Final Kms.

After descending to Luz-Saint-Sauveur the route follows the Gave de Gavarnie upstream to Pierrefitte-Nestales. That’s where the finish climb kicks in, but in reality it's all about the final 4kms, which contains a double digit section.





What to Expect.
Hard to predict as the stage lacks real bite at the end and appears so early in the race. Best guess is that some of the potentially strong breakaway go all the way, as any GC action is likely to be limited to that finale. (although with Pogacar, who knows?)

Tarbes

Stage town for the 15th time
Population: 42,500 (Tarbais), and 127,000 for the 86 communes of the Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées Agglomeration Community.

Tarbes is a commune in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in the Occitanie region of southwestern France. It is the capital of Bigorre and of the Hautes-Pyrénées. It has been a commune since 1790. It was known as Turba or Tarba in Roman times. Tarbes is part of the historical region of Gascony.
Tarbes is crossed to the east by the Adour river and to the west by the Échez and by the Gespe, a tributary which joins the Échez.

TARBES AND CYCLING

In 2019, Tarbes was the launching pad for one of the most beautiful victories of Thibaut Pinot's career, crowned at the Tourmalet, and on orbit for a place on the Tour de France podium until an injury forced him to abandon on the road to Tignes. In 1951, it was on the road to Tarbes that Wim Van Est, wearing the Yellow Jersey, nosedived into a ravine after the Aubisque pass. He lost the lead in the general classification but saved his life. The next day, between Tarbes and Luchon, Hugo Koblet took the overall lead and kept it until Paris. Wim Van Est will go down in history as the first Dutchman to wear the Yellow Jersey, but also the pink jersey of the Giro.



Gastronomy.

Tarbes beans
Tarbes white beans originated among the first products imported from South America in the 16th century in the holds of Christopher Columbus. The story goes that Catherine de Medici, the future wife of Henry III, disembarked in Marseilles in 1553 and took out of her wedding basket a bag of Fagioli, which would later be called beans. It was planted in the Tarbes plain at the beginning of the 18th century, at the same time as maize, by Monseigneur de Poudenx, bishop of Tarbes.



Cauterets-Cambasque

Stage town for the 5th time
Population: 870.

CAUTERETS-CAMBASQUE AND CYCLING

Although the Tour de France has already visited Cauterets four times between 1953 and 2015, it has only stopped once at the Cambasque plateau, in 1989. It was then a very promising young Spanish rider, Miguel Indurain, who won the stage. He finished 17th overall that year. It was the first stage victory of the Navarrese in the Tour: In 1995, Richard Virenque won near Crêtes du Lys, but his victory was overshadowed by the death of Italian Fabio Casartelli on the 15th stage of that edition, who fell on the descent of the Col de Portet d'Aspet.In 2015, Rafal Majka won in Cauterets-Vallée de Saint-Savin. Cauterets was also on the route of the 2003 Vuelta.



Berlingots of Cauterets
At the beginning of the 20th century, Cauterets was the largest spa town in France. A dozen berlingot factories were created, of which four remain. The smell of sugar and the picturesque nature of the activity create an atmosphere throughout the town and still attract crowds today. A mixture of water, sugar and glucose syrup, flavoured and cooked at 150 degrees, is poured onto a marble table. This mixture is cooled until a sugar of a certain consistency is obtained. This paste is worked to obtain several shades of colour or stripes. Then it passes in a "berlingotière" to obtain the final shape of the berlingot. Then it is time to taste it!



Tomme des Pyrénées

Tomme des Pyrénées is a semi-hard, cow's milk cheese from the Pyrénées region in France that must mature for at least 21 days before consumption. It is wrapped in a distinguishable black wax coating, which acts as a seal to prevent the air from coming in and thus stopping the maturation process.
Appreciated for its big, bold flavors, Tomme has a rubbery texture and buttery, salty, earthy taste with slight hints of sourness and undertones of mushrooms, garlic, onions, peanuts and beef bouillon that come forth once the cheese has melted in the mouth.













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

  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 41,385
    edited July 2023
    Just to prove I read the intro properly, the Tourmalet isn’t the first HC climb of the race (that was today) :wink:
  • blazing_saddles
    blazing_saddles Posts: 21,960
    Pross said:

    Just to prove I read the intro properly, the Tournalet isn’t the first HC climb of the race (that was today) :wink:

    My bad.
    Sorted.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • shirley_basso
    shirley_basso Posts: 6,195
    I stayed in near arreau in cadeac lea bains. Quaint but perfect for aspin tormalet, horquettes damcizan, Porte du bales and pereysorde.

    Excuse spelling.
  • jimmyjams
    jimmyjams Posts: 755
    If we are commenting on your preamble for this stage ….. you mention Henry III and his future wife Catherine, she arriving at Marseille in 1553, with a bag of beans (still called fagioli in Italy).

    In her entourage that day were Italians who knew how to make sorbets and ice cream, thus she effectively introduced both items to France (thankfully because I rate French sorbets/water-ices far better than any Italian ice cream).

    Her household cooks also introduced warm sauces to France/northern Europe, making use of the juices from roasted or fried meat and cooking any added binder (thus allowing flour to be a binder). Before then sauces were cold and had supposedly-binding additives (breadcrumbs, beaten egg, ground nuts, pureed mushrooms) which weren't cooked at all, just mixed into the cold liquid (wine, vinegar, juice from pressed grapes or berries) .
    As for Henry III, he introduced the fork for meals at the royal court - before then the hands being only implement used to get solid food from plate to mouth.

    And I think your assessment of how tomorrow will go (any GC action limited to finale) is probably (and unfortunately) accurate, although we can hope for Pog to pull something out of the hat.
  • N0bodyOfTheGoat
    N0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 5,898
    edited July 2023
    Just a heads up for anyone that's just surfaced from under a rock...

    Col du Tourmalet is available through the new Zwift climb portal. Also Col d’Aspin.
    https://forums.zwift.com/t/zwift-climb-portal-2023/608777

    Anyone with an expired sub should get free 25Km per calendar month, new account gets 14 days unlimited use free iirc.

    If I set off now, I might make it up to the virtual summit before the pros. :D
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,778

    Just a heads up for anyone that's just surfaced from under a rock...

    Col du Tourmalet is available through the new Zwift climb portal. Also Col d’Aspin.
    https://forums.zwift.com/t/zwift-climb-portal-2023/608777

    Anyone with an expired sub should get free 25Km per calendar month, new account gets 14 days unlimited use free iirc.

    If I set off now, I might make it up to the virtual summit before the pros. :D

    If that's how they have done the visuals, I guess the best that could be said is that it's nicer to look at than La Mongie.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,686
    Rain forecast - good for pog.
  • blazing_saddles
    blazing_saddles Posts: 21,960

    Rain forecast - good for pog.

    Currently quite pleasant, just slightly overcast in Cauterets this morning. Temperature is also ok, so not particularly cold on the Tourmalet.
    Localised thundery showers around this afternoon, so they may get dumped on, or remain completely dry.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • singleton
    singleton Posts: 2,523
    Pog has had bad days before and seemingly recovered well.
    Interesting to see what happens today.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,686
    If you're a pog fan you gotta be hoping for a really cold few mountain stages.
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 17,648
    Pog lacking confidence vibe
    "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
  • No_Ta_Doctor
    No_Ta_Doctor Posts: 13,560
    Think Jonas will look to twist the knife again today - if he doesn't then he's still vulnerable to the bonus seconds sprint from Pog. Think the last 3km will be enough, though I'd love to see him go on the Tourmalet 😉
    Warning No formatter is installed for the format
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 17,648
    Cringe bus
    "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
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,686
    Am excited to see what Wout can do again today, if he can recover from yday.
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 17,648

    Think Jonas will look to twist the knife again today - if he doesn't then he's still vulnerable to the bonus seconds sprint from Pog. Think the last 3km will be enough, though I'd love to see him go on the Tourmalet 😉

    You don't what will happen in the 3td use the form now uphill ...kuss is going well use him

    "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
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 41,385
    Wout straight on the attack.
  • blazing_saddles
    blazing_saddles Posts: 21,960
    WVA obviously has a cunning plan.....
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 41,385

    Am excited to see what Wout can do again today, if he can recover from yday.

    Think you've got your answer!
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 17,648
    WvA attacks km 0
    "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
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 41,385
    Big group trying to get away with Wout, Alaphilippe in there too and a UAE rider. Only a handful of riders, Uno X very active too.

    Arndt, Cosnefroy and Shaw in there. Notconvined it will still though.
  • blazing_saddles
    blazing_saddles Posts: 21,960
    Just been out for a bit of a walk and I am knackered.
    Gotta get myself some of those Jumbo ketones.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 41,385
    edited July 2023
    Rodriguez in there I think so won't be allowed to go far.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 41,385
    Wasn't Rodriguez, it was a Cofidis rider.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 41,385
    Feels like some big efforts going in without the elastic looking like it will snap.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 41,385
    Actually the peloton look like they've decided there are no big risks in there and eased up now.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 41,385
    edited July 2023
    MVDP, Trentin, Izagirre, Kwiato, Julle-Jensen and Coquard also amongst it.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 41,385
    There's around 12-15 up front with another 5 chasing at 28" including Powless. Peloton at 44".
  • Lanterne_Rogue
    Lanterne_Rogue Posts: 4,091
    Peloton have definitely decided they're happy with this now. Chasing group don't seem to be making too much headway, if any. Is it a chasse patate if there are five of you?
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 17,648
    Strong 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
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 17,648
    Brian is in there for cofidis ...thieving the points
    "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