July 14th is a very special day at the Tour de France. On the French national holiday the professional cyclists from the host country like to attack – so it should also this Sunday (13:25 clock / One and Eurosport) run.
On the 170.5 kilometers of the ninth stage from Saint-Étienne to Brioude, the peloton moves further southwest towards the Pyrenees.
STAGE: The professional cyclists start from the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, the stadium of French football record champion AS Saint-Étienne. After that, after only 36.5 kilometers, the Mur d'Aurec-sur-Loire, an eleven percent steep ramp that is sorted into the first mountain category, arrives. In the further course follow also two increases of the third category. The pure sprinters certainly have no chance with this profile.
FAVORITES: Will the next attack be made by Julian Alaphilippe, who slipped back to the yellow jersey on Saturday with an attack? The fast-paced all-rounder has already proved his great form on the tour – and should be particularly motivated on the national holiday. Even triple World Champion Peter Sagan should not be forgotten: If he comes with the field over the three mountain tests, he should be on arrival in Brioude guaranteed to be one of the fastest professionals. Outliers are also likely to want to save their chance for a one-day victory.
GERMAN: Sprinter André Greipel, who was already deeply frustrated by the first tour week, has no chance here. Even earlier, the stage could meet the German champion Maximilian Schachmann, who likes the hilly profile. But the Bora-hansgrohe-professional could also have to work once more for teammate and superstar Sagan. For the Cologne Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) the profile should be a tad too heavy.