The Longest Day
At almost 250 kilometers, this is the longest Tour stage in 21 years. It’s like two stages in one. The first half heads due east on flat terrain, where a big breakaway is sure to form. The second half through the Morvan forest features five climbs with almost no respite between them. The finish town of Le Creusot was chosen because of the Signal d’Uchon, a new test for the Tour. Its difficulty is concealed by its statistics (5.7 kilometers at 5.7 percent), which are modified by a short descent in the middle. The last 1,500 meters average 11.5 percent with a maximum pitch of 18 percent. Beyond it, only 18 kilometers remain to the finish, with one final climb on the way. The stage win will probably be fought between the breakaway riders, but the GC men will also have to be on their best climbing form—knowing that a weekend in the Alps is coming up.
After 2.7km in streets of Le Creusot, at the end of a 1,600m straight on the 23 feet wide Avenue du Stade Jean-Garnier.