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The Montagne de Lure

Montagne de Lure

The is THE summit finish in Paris-Nice. With the limestone, an arc of tarmac and the communications aerials on top, it looks a bit like Mont Ventoux, no? Indeed, it's sometimes called the little sister of Mont Ventoux, being just 40km away. Like Ventoux, this is not a mountain pass but a mountain peak with the road reaching up to the top. There's a small ski station at the top.

Tomorrow the riders will take the road from St Etienne les Orgues for 13km. You can actually continue further for a bit, the race doesn't go right to the peak. The road cuts up through the forest at a fairly steady gradient, averaging around 6% with one section at 8% but that's it. Remember that Bédoin - Mont Ventoux nudges 10% for a long time. So Lure is an easier, steady sort of climb.

The relatively easy gradient counts in Chavanel's favour, but his DS said today that holding the leaders jersey would be impossible and he wanted the Quick Step team to help Kevin Seeldrayers keep his "Best Young Rider" jersey instead, possibly a more realistic goal.

So it's not super steep but the real climbers will still be at home. Expect a flurry of attacks from lesser riders before as the whole stage is hilly. As for who will win tomorrow, well did you know one of the small villages on the side of the mountain is called... Le Contadour?

Contadour-panneau

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