Le Lioran and Massif Central calling

Stage 11 of the 2024 Tour de France takes the riders into the Massif Central on a tough 211 km route from Evaux-les-Bains, concluding on Le Lioran.

There’s only one stage in this year’s Tour across the rugged Massif Central and what a stage it is. With 4,350 metres of vertical gain, the riders will have to be ready for battle throughout the stage and specifically in a challenging final 50 km, as the degree of difficulty increases with a series of very challenging obstacles.

Those include the ascent of Col de Neronne, then to the Puy Mary Pas de Peyrol with its brutal final two kilometres, then continuing on to the Col de Pertus, the Col de Font de Cere and the ascent to Le Lioran. It was on this final which Greg Van Avermaet brilliantly finished solo for the victory in 2016 having left Thomas De Gent behind on the Col de Pertus.

The climbs will provide all manner of opportunities for eager riders to attack and the current owner of the polka dot jersey Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X Mobility) knows he will come under pressure as he strives to stay on top of the Mountain classification.

Meanwhile, it would not be a surprise to see Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) or Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) launch attacks on their rivals, having done so – fruitlessly in the end – on Stage 9 on Sunday on the Troyes gravel roads. Jonas Vingegaard (Team Visma | Lease a Bike) and Primoz Roglic (Red Bull-Bora-Hansgrohe) will want their say in how the race is managed and will not be willing to yield a single second to Pogacar or Evenepoel.

GC ambitions aside, there should be plenty of other candidates willing to test their peers for the stage victory, with the likes of Romain Bardet (Team dsm-firmenich PostNL), Maxim Van Gils (Lotto-Dstny), Michael Matthews (Jayco Alula), Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers), Wout van Aert (Visma-Lease a Bike) and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) all possessing the weaponry to fight for the bouquet.  

Keep an eye out too for EF Education – EasyPost trio Alberto Bettiol, Ben Healy and Neilson Powless and Lidl-Trek pair Jasper Stuyven and Tom Skujins who could all be willing and able to light up the stage.

09/07/2024 - Tour de France 2024 - Étape 10 - Orléans / Saint-Amand-Montrond (187,3 km) -
09/07/2024 - Tour de France 2024 - Étape 10 - Orléans / Saint-Amand-Montrond (187,3 km) - © A.S.O./Charly Lopez

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