Place de la Cathédrale, Bazas
Flying Start: 2:05 p.m. on D.932
Course: After a 500km transfer south from Lorient and a rest day
at Bordeaux, the Tour continues at Bazas, 70km southeast of Bordeaux. Stage
10 is only 147km long, but after an opening 80km on straight, flat roads
through the Landes pine forest, the 55km section from Grenade sur l’Adour
to Sauvagnon is a succession of climbs and descents on winding back roads.
The final 12km are back on wider main roads, with the traditional Pau finish
in the Place de Verdun.
History: Pau has seen 54 stage finishes, the most recent in 1999
bringing a win for Spaniard David Etxebarria after a day in the Pyrénées.
The last time the race came from the Bordeaux direction, in 1997, the stage
narrowly went to Zabel in a field sprint over Minali and Jeroen Blijlevens.
Favorites: There will be a tendency for the leaders to let go
attacking riders who conceded many minutes in the stage 9 time trial. If
they break away early, they’re likely to be caught on the hilly section,
with a much-reduced peloton reaching Pau for a sprint finish. Zabel could
win again, although a Rodriguez or Freire could get the better of the German this time.