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Tour de France 2013

Date range:
June 29 - July 21, 2013
  • Tour de France, France
  • Stages Expand the race menu
    • Stage 1

      Distance:
      213km
      Start location:
      Porto-Vecchio
      End location:
      Bastia
    • Stage 2

      Distance:
      156km
      Start location:
      Bastia
      End location:
      Ajaccio
    • Stage 3

      Distance:
      145.5km
      Start location:
      Ajaccio
      End location:
      Calvi
    • Stage 4

      Distance:
      25km
      Location
      Nice (TTT)
    • Stage 5

      Distance:
      228.5km
      Start location:
      Cagnes-sur-mer
      End location:
      Marseille
    • Stage 6

      Distance:
      176.5km
      Start location:
      Aix-en-Provence
      End location:
      Montpellier
    • Stage 7

      Distance:
      205.5km
      Start location:
      Montpellier
      End location:
      Albi
    • Stage 8

      Distance:
      195km
      Start location:
      Castres
      End location:
      Ax 3 Domaines
    • Stage 9

      Distance:
      168.5km
      Start location:
      Saint-Girons
      End location:
      Bagnères-de-Bigorre
    • Rest day 1

      Location
      Saint-Nazaire, Loire-Atlantique
    • Stage 10

      Distance:
      197km
      Start location:
      St-Gildas-des-Bois
      End location:
      Saint Malo
    • Stage 11

      Distance:
      33km
      Start location:
      Avranches
      End location:
      Mont-Saint-Michel (ITT)
    • Stage 12

      Distance:
      218km
      Start location:
      Fougères
      End location:
      Tours
    • Stage 13

      Distance:
      173km
      Start location:
      Tours
      End location:
      Saint-Amand-Montrond
    • Stage 14

      Distance:
      191km
      Start location:
      Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule
      End location:
      Lyon
    • Stage 15

      Distance:
      242.5km
      Start location:
      Givors
      End location:
      Mont Ventoux
    • Rest day 2

      Location
      Vaucluse province (Avignon, Orange)
    • Stage 16

      Distance:
      168km
      Start location:
      Vaison-la-Romaine
      End location:
      Gap
    • Stage 17

      Distance:
      32km
      Start location:
      Embrun
      End location:
      Chorges (ITT)
    • Stage 18

      Distance:
      172.5km
      Start location:
      Gap
      End location:
      l'Alpe d'Huez
    • Stage 19

      Distance:
      204.5km
      Start location:
      Bourg d'Oisans
      End location:
      Le Grand Bornand
    • Stage 20

      Distance:
      125km
      Start location:
      Annecy
      End location:
      Annecy-Semnoz
    • Stage 21

      Distance:
      133.5km
      Start location:
      Versailles
      End location:
      Paris - Champs-Elysées
  • Race history

July 06, Stage 8: Castres - Ax 3 Domaines 195km

By:
Cycling News
Published:
May 29, 2013, 5:18 BST,
Updated:
June 17, 2013, 20:02 BST

Castres - Ax 3 Domaines 195 km

Up and downs in the Pyrenees

The high mountains begin with a very intriguing stage that trundles towards the Pyrenees with hardly a moment to concern even the poorest climber but packs a real punch in its final quarter in the shape of two of what the Tour likes to call its '21st-century climbs'. The key action should begin when the race reaches the steepest ramps of the Col de Pailhères, the 'roof' of this year's race at 2,001m. Averaging 8 per cent, it's tough but potentially made more so because it appears with no foothills to warm up on, so anyone off the pace on the Pailhères could end up having a very bad day indeed. From the summit, there are only 28km to the finish of which 20km are a fast descent. At the foot in Ax-les-Thermes there's no chance to make up lost ground as the road heads quickly onto the final climb, made famous by Carlos Sastre's dummy-sucking win in 2003. Again, the average is about 8 per cent. With only 8km to the summit, the main action is likely as soon as the GC contenders hit the climb.

Today the riders get to test their climbing legs but with two major ascents in the final 50km, the stage has a serious sting in its tail.

Nicolas Portal: "This Tour comes in two halves. The first half is all about not losing. The second is about winning.
"This stage could catch some riders out because of the sudden change of rhythm after 120 pretty flat kilometres. The Pailhères is long and it rises for more than the 15km on the official profile."

Local history

In 2010, the last occasion when the race crossed the Pailhères and finished at Ax 3 Domaines, victory went to AG2R's Christophe Riblon, who was the only rider from the day's big break to hold off the big guns. Yellow jersey Andy Schleck and rival Alberto Contador stuck close to each other, 'playing poker' as Schleck put it.

Maps and profiles courtesy of ASO

Tour de France 2013: Stage 8 map

Tour de France 2013: Stage 8 profile