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Pithy Title: Exploring Stage 19

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Well my friends, we're getting down to the last few days of this great thing we punish ourselves with sleep deprivation to enjoy.  Tomorrow's stage is a welcome flat stage, only one Cat 3 and one Cat 4 to speak of and at this point, I imagine the rider's laugh in the face of such hellingen.  The last chance for a breakaway... perhaps... but I'm thinking sprinters want to stretch those twitch-fibers one more time before doing it in front of frothing mad cycling hordes on the streets of Paris.

The stage is 165km long from Roanne to Montluçon .  There hasn't been any word on whether Wim Vansevenant will be asked to put out the red light in Rooooooanne.

 

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Now it's not pancake flat... there are little bumps and bruises along the way.

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Here is the first rated climb, the Cat.3: La Croix du Sud... 11k at 3.5% gradient.  I believe La Croix du Sud translates as "Lacrosse Beer"...

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It ain't much of a descent... sort of an inverted false flat I suppose, but that drops you right off on to the massive slopes of the Cat.4 Côte de la Croix-Rouge a 1.4k climb averaging 6.4%... which I suppose is actually sort of a misery... I wouldn't want to commute over that by bike.  That said, I had to guess where to put the flag, everything sorta looks flat now compared to the stuff around Briançon.

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And now, flatness Charlie Murphy... flatness.

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Here is the official race profile from the Tour website... note the stunning lack of anything remotely resembling scale... Profil_medium

 

And the last kilometer you ask?  I'm gonna call it "The Robbie McEwen Flats"...

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