SHARE
COPY LINK

CYCLING

Froome hoping to play it safe on 14th tour stage

Saturday's 14th stage of the Tour de France, the last before the much anticipated ride to the legendary Mont Ventoux, sees the race return to Lyon for the first time in a decade.

Froome hoping to play it safe on 14th tour stage
Photo: Pascal Guyot/AFP

After a week that was tailor-made for the sprinters and time-triallists, the 191-kilometre ride from the small town of Saint-Pourcain-sur-Sioule — welcoming the Tour for the first time — features a whole host of climbs that should open up the stage to a 'puncheur'.

There will be seven ascents altogether, two of them category three climbs, including the 6.3km long Col du Pilon.

In addition, the category four climb of the Croix-Rousse, in Lyon itself, comes just 10km from the finish.

It could be a day for the hosts to break their duck and record a first stage win in this year's race, particularly if Thomas Voeckler is in the mood, although it may also prove an opportunity for Peter Sagan to reinforce his lead in the race for the green jersey after Mark Cavendish won Friday's stage 13.

Meanwhile, overall race leader Chris Froome will be hoping for a trouble-free day after losing 1min 9sec on Bauke Mollema and Alberto Contador in the general classification on Friday.

When the Tour last visited Lyon, on the banks of the River Rhone, in 2003, Italy's Alessandro Petacchi triumphed in a sprint finish.

France's third-largest city has hosted the Tour 16 times before, including the finish to the first ever stage in 1903, when Maurice Garin triumphed on his way to becoming the first overall Tour victor.

Saturday's stage begins at 10.40 and is due to finish just before 3.30pm.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

SPORT

Inaugural Women’s Tour de France to start at Eiffel Tower

The route for the inaugural women's Tour de France was unveiled on Thursday with eight stages, embarking from the Eiffel Tower on July 24th next year.

French cyclist Marion Rousse delivers a speech next to Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme during the presentation of the first edition of the Women's Tour de France cycling race.
French cyclist Marion Rousse delivers a speech next to Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme during the presentation of the first edition of the Women's Tour de France cycling race. Photo: Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP.

The first complete edition of the women’s version of cycling’s iconic race starts on the day the 109th edition of the men’s Tour ends.

After a route that winds through northern France, the race culminates in the Planche des Belles Filles climb in the Vosges mountains.

Danish cyclist Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig said she was over the moon to be taking part.

“I want it to be July now so we can get stared,” she said actually jumping up and down.

“The Tour de France is a reference and when you say you are a cyclist people ask about that. Now I can say I race the Tour de France,” she said after the presentation.

MAP: Details of 2022 Tour de France (and Denmark) revealed

Race director Marion Rousse, a former French cycling champion and now a TV commentator, told AFP it would be a varied course that would maintain suspense over the eight days.

“It is coherent in a sporting sense, and we wanted to start from Paris,” she said of the 1,029km run.

“With only eight stages we couldn’t go down to the Alps or the Pyrenees, the transfers would be too long.

“The stages obviously are shorter for the women than for the men’s races. The men can go 225 kilometres. For the women the longest race on our roster is 175km and we even needed special dispensation for that,” she said. “But it’s a course I love.”

Christian Prudhomme, the president of the Tour de France organisers, was equally enthusiastic.

“The fact it sets off from Paris the day the men’s race ends gives the new race a boost because it sets the media up to follow it more easily.

“It also means that with the Tour de France starting on July 1st and the women’s race ending on the 31st, there will be cycling on television every day of July.”

The men’s race is broadcast in around 190 countries.

SHOW COMMENTS