SAINT GERVAIS – It's the day of the queen stage of the Tour, the hardest ever. In the 165.7 kilometers of the Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc – Courchevel, four hard gpm and over 5000 meters of total altitude difference. The last climb, the Col de la Lozeis the highest point of the Tour (Henri Desgrange souvenir, 2304 meters).
Having set off from Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc, the riders will arrive slightly uphill in Megève: a subsequent flat stretch leads to the foot of the first gpm, Il Col des Saisies (13.4km at 5.1%). The col is followed by a descent of about fifteen kilometers and a short stretch of the valley floor up to the Beaufort sprint. Then begins the Cormet de Roselend, ascent of 19.9 kilometers at 6%.
The first, a dozen kilometers up to the Col du Méraillet, will almost always offer gradients higher than 7%, the second, of around 6000 metres, will be easier, even if it will reach a peak of 11%. Twenty km of descent lead to Aime, where the Côte de Longefoy begins, 6600 meters at 7.5%, followed by a complicated slight slope.
Followed by 10 km of descent and 10 of the valley floor to take the very long Col de la Loze, a 28.1 km climb, with an average gradient of 6%. The first part, about 14 kilometers long, will be rather irregular, alternating harder sections with others that are more pedalable; then, after 3000 meters of descent which will lead to Méribel, the last 11 km will be tackled with the last 5 often in double figures, with a peak of 24%. The ascent of the Col de la Loze is not new: it was a stage finish in 2020. Miguel Angel Lopez won, Pogacar went into slight difficulty compared to Roglic. The climb assigns bonuses of 8”, 5” and 2”.
At the brow there will be only 6600 meters to the arrival in Courchevel, but they won't all be downhill: at -3 from the conclusion there will in fact be a short climb at 5%, but the final ramp will be even harder (10.8%, max. 18%) which will lead to the finish line, in the Courchevel altiport.
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