A nightmare for the favourites

July 14 th 2018 - 18:29

A Tour de France stage hasn’t featured as many cobblestones since stage 12 from Compiègne to Roubaix in 1981 that had 27.1km of pavés divided in 27 sectors. Stage 9 includes 15 of them from km 47.5 to 8km to go, for a total of 21.7km non asphalted. The finish is located on the avenue Maxence Van der Meersch near the legendary velodrome and its indoor version “Le Stab”. It’s the most feared stage for the GC contenders. They can lose a lot of time and illusions before reaching the mountains. Some Paris-Roubaix specialists may have to look after their captains rather than hunt for a prestigious stage win: Sep Vanmarcke for Rigoberto Uran, Oliver Naesen for Romain Bardet, Matt Hayman for Adam Yates, Gianni Moscon for Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas who is second on GC and likely to take advantage of this specific stage to definitely position himself as a potential winner of the Tour de France. It’s shorter than a classic and many ingredients are different but it’s a spectacle not to be missed!

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