Tour de France Stage 10 Preview: Undulating All Day, Then Downhill To The Finish
Stage 10 of the 2019 Tour picks up where stages 8 and 9 left off, with a long, undulating ride from Saint-Flour to Albi. The climbing starts early, with two categorised ascents in the first 40K. Expect to see someone from Lotto–Soudal attack to defend Tim Wellens’s lead in the King of the Mountains competition, joined by riders from wildcard teams like Cofidis, Total–Direct Energie, and Wanty–Gobert.
While not as hard as the two courses before it, Stage 10 won’t be painless. The riders will climb or descend much of the day, with few flat roads giving them a chance to catch their breath. But the last categorised climb comes 53K from the end, and while undulating, it’s essentially a downhill ride from the summit to the finish.
Much of the peloton took the day off on Sunday, letting a big breakaway escape to contest the stage. But that won’t happen here, as the sprinters’ teams know this is another opportunity for them to grab a win of their own.
The run-in to the finish is relatively straightforward, with the final corner coming more than 3K from the line. The largely straight road “bends” before and after the 1K-to-go banner, but the sprinters couldn’t ask for a nicer finish.
Riders to Watch
Teams Deceuninck–Quick Step, Lotto–Soudal, and Jumbo–Visma will do everything they can for their sprinters Elia Viviani, Caleb Ewan, and Dylan Groenewegen. However, should these three fail to stay with the leading peloton on the narrow, undulating roads into Albi, it will open a window for riders like Peter Sagan, Michael Matthews, and Greg Van Avermaet. Overall leader Julian Alaphilippe should have no problems taking his yellow jersey into the Tour’s first rest day.