Stage 9 Route: Saint-Étienne – Brioude
Start Time: 13:25 CET
Expected Finish: 17:30 CET
Stage 9 is an intriguing stage as it offers opportunities for breakaway riders, Classics specialists, and even some sprinters. The stage runs from Saint-Étienne to a tricky finale in Brioude, amounting to 170.5 hilly kilometres.
The race gets underway in Saint-Étienne and travels from one hill to the next. The route barely features a flat metre, while the toughest slope of the day takes the shape of the Mur d’Aurec-sur-Loire. This 3.2 kilometres climb at 11% is crested at kilometre 36.5, so way too early to have any lasting effect. It will add to the fatigue though, as will the second KOM climb, Côte de Guillaumanches, which is 7.8 kilometres long and slopes at 4.1%. The summit is crested with more than 60 kilometres remaining.
After the Guillaumanches the route continues on undulating terrain to a promising finale. With 12.5 kilometres out the Tour de France crests the steep Côte de Saint-Just (3.6 kilometres at 7.2%) and the first three riders over the summit earn bonus seconds (8, 5 and 3) before flying down to the line. Halfway in the descent the route kicks up only to continue downhill to Bardet’s birthplace.
Time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds are awarded to the first three riders on the line. Plus, as mentioned, there are extra seconds available at the Côte de Saint-Just.