Livin' the Dream

Livin' the Dream

About Me

I am a sophomore at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, majoring in journalism. My passion is cycling. I am a category 4 bike racer and my absolute dream would be to turn pro one day. My more realistic goal is to become a journalist for the sport of cycling and eventually move on to become a broadcaster for the sport.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

2015 Tour de France Route Analysis Stage 10-16

July 14th, Stage 10 Tarbes – La Pierre Saint-Martin 167 km

            Suns out, guns out. After the rest day the “real” Tour begins. It is the first official finish atop the Col de Soudet at the town of La Pierre Saint-Martin. The climb to the finish is a brutal affair. The climb is 15.3km and averages a leg searing 7.4%. The Col de Soudet is the only categorized climb on the day so look for a breakaway to be established early on and enter the climb with a considerable advantage. This is the first of three hard days in the Pyrenees. The Col de Soudet is the beginning of where the Tour can be won as well as lost. Look for GC contenders Thibaut Pinot, Jean Christophe Peraud, and Romain Bardet to be extra motivated as it is Bastille Day.

July 15th, Stage 11 Pau – Cauterets 188 km

            The second day in the Pyrenees goes up, up, up. After starting in Pau the riders will tackle the Col d’Aspin, followed by the brutal Col du Tourmalet, before the finishing climb into Cauterets. The Tour has only finished in Cauterets on three occasions. The most recent winner is the King of the King of the Mountains Competition Richard Virenque. Look for riders who lost time the day before to have good rides as their legs get used to climbing.

 *The last time the Tour finished in Cauterets the cycling world lost one of its own that day. Fabio Castertelli died descending the Col de Portet-d’Aspet early in the stage.

July 16th, Stage 12 Lannemezan – Plateau de Beille

            “There ain’t no rest for the wicked.” The third day in the Pyrenees will begin to show who has the legs to go the distance and bring home the famed Maillot Jaune. The day is definitely one for the climbers with four big climbs on tap including the finishing climb the Plateau de Beille. Look for Alberto Contador to be super motivated on this day. The Plateau de Beille is where his inaugural Tour de France stage win took place.

July 17th, Stage 13 Muret – Rodez 200 km

            After three brutal days in the Pyrenees the peloton will finally get so respite. With the sprinters tired from battling for three days to make the time cut. Look for today to be a day for the breakaway. The run-in to the finish is a bit lumpy according to Tour Director Christian Prudhomme on, so the sprinters may take it easy and wait for Valence.

July 18th, Stage 14 Rodez – Mende 178 km

            The finish is Mende is no easy task. The finish line is atop the Cote de la Croix Neuve. It is quite short at only 3 km, but averages over 10% the whole way up. Look for the Ardennes Classic specialists to have a go for the stage win. Look for a opportunistic rider to go further out from the finish and possibly take the win while the GC contenders and hilly classic specialists are caught watching each other.

July 19th, Stage 15 Mende – Valence 182 km

            Stage 15 is a classic sprinters stage as the race travels between the Pyrenees and the Alps. The only hiccup in the stage could come when the riders traverse the Rhone Valley. The wind can be a bit tricky there.

July 20th, Stage 16 Bourge-de-Peage - Gap 201 km

            Gap is one of the toughest finishes to predict. Depending on the route, it could be a bunch sprint, or a sprint amongst only the elite climbers of the sport. When asked after the presentation about sprint opportunities Mark Cavendish (OPQS) joked how he was top 20 in Gap once. The last time the Tour finished in Gap it was Rui Costa who took the win solo after attacking his breakaway companions.
July 21st, Rest Day - Gap

*course data and previous results gained from and

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