Stage 8 will be a spectacular finish at La Mauselaine, a ski resort that offers a wonderful view over the lake of Gérardmer, “the pearl of the Vosges” according to the flattering words of Victor Hugo's brother Abel. On the famous date of September 11, 2001, in the Tour de l'Avenir, sprinter ace Baden Cooke outclassed Denis Menchov who was a climber in the making. Therefore, the 1.8km long stretch to La Mauselaine that has an average gradient of 10.3% and a maximum at 15% can favor either a sprinter with the characteristics of Peter Sagan or a punchy climber. Beforehand, an interesting short cut will create some excitement. The col de Grosse-Pierre is nothing new on the route of the Tour, as Lucien Petit-Breton led the race at that point in 1913, but race organizers have found the “Traverse de la Roche”, a narrow and steep 1.2km long stretch at 12% with a passage at 16%, described as “something like the Mur de Huy at the Flèche wallonne” by race director Thierry Gouvenou who found the road via researches on google earth. It's a stage for explosive climbers but it remains to be seen whether or not the GC contenders will be eager to discover themselves in the first of the three stages in the Vosges.
Steep and narrow climbs as an apetizer before the mountains
Sporting stakes12.07.2014Stage 8- Tomblaine / Gérardmer La Mauselaine
Blel Kadri of AG2R-La Mondiale was the only survivor of the breakaway. Therefore, he delivered the first French stage win of the 2014 Tour de France whereas the battle of the giants gave a little advantage to Alberto Contador who moved up to the top ten on GC. But the Spaniard only regained three seconds from Vincenzo Nibali who reached a new summit: the 200th day of an Italian in the lead of the Tour de France.
News from the sick bay…
Already involved in a controversial crash in the finale of stage 7 in Nancy, Andrew Talansky (GRS) fell again in Saturday's stage and lost precious time.
According to the medical communiqué, the American, winner of the last Dauphine, suffers from "multiple contusions".
35th in the stage, 4:35 adrift, the Garmin Sharp team leader is now 16th overall, 4:22 behind Vincenzo Nibali.
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Jersey wearers after the stage 9
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Will the three stages in the Vosges determine the overall winner?
- Yes, they’ll confirm Nibali’s domination9.61%
- No, the real fight will happen in the Alps47.68%
- No, Contador will win the Tour in the Pyrenees30.74%
- No, Porte will beat them all in the time trial11.97%