First Tour de France stage finish atop Grand Colombier

Grand Colombier, a gruelling climb from the Jura that overlooks the Mont Blanc, the Alps, the Bourget lake and the Rhône valley, is a regular inclusion on the map of the Tour de France since 2012. That year, Thomas Voeckler was first at the top before winning the stage at Bellegarde-sur-Valserine. Rafal Majka and Warren Barguil crested it first in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Different versions of the Grand Colombier stage have been experimented with a finish closer to the climb or the climb to be done twice but this is the first time with a Tour de France finish at the top. This is where Primoz Roglic already informed the world of his superiority over Egan Bernal when he resumed racing at the Tour de l’Ain in August. It’s a much anticipated stage because of what comes before the Grand Colombier. The Slovenian is actually the only rider who crested col de la Biche in first position at the Tour, on his debut in 2017, but it was on the other versant than the one used today. Three steep climbs are featured on stage 15 and it’ll be interesting to see what Tadej Pogacar will make of these difficulties that are new to him.

© CC Bugey Sud/Laurent Madelon

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