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Bang! Right from the start of stage nine, the Tour peloton will ascend from the exclusive ski resort...
Bang! Right from the start of stage nine, the Tour peloton will ascend from the exclusive ski resort of Val d'Isère. The riders will head up the windy, wide-open slopes of the Col de l'Iseran (15km @ 6%) to the 2770-metre high summit, one of the highest in Europe.
Coming as it does on the day after the rest day in Tignes, the climb will be doubly-hard and once over the top, it's a long, fast downhill run down the Maurienne valley to St.Michel-de-Maurienne. There the long, legendary double ascent of the Télégraphe (12.0 km climb @ 6.7 % grade / 1st Cat) and Galibier (17.5 km @ 6.9 %) begins and it will certainly make a crucial selection, especially on the steep final 10 kilometres of the Galibier.
Then it's a long, fast descent past the monument to Tour founder Henri Desgranges with 37 kilometres to go to the finish in Europe's highest city of Briançon and a steep, difficult stage finish in the Fort de Salettes.
Km 15: Col de l'Iseran: 15.0 km climb @ 6 % grade / hors catégorie
Km 99: Col du Telegraphe: 12.0 km climb @ 6.7 % grade / 1st Cat.
Km 122: Col du Galibier: 17.5 km climb @ 6.9 % grade / hors catégorie
Km 33.5: Le Villaron (Bessans)
Km 60: Bramans