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A gravel grinder at the Tour de France - Gallery

Tuesday's opening trek through the Alps during stage 10 of the 2018 Tour de France included a stretch of gravel road leading to the Plateau des Glières, some 60 kilometres in to the day's 158.5km stage.

Reminiscent of gravel sectors in one-day races such as Strade Bianche and the Tro Bro Léon, and in keeping with the current popularity for amateur 'gravel grinder' mass-start events, the stage between Annecy and Le Grand-Bornand featured 1.8km of rolling, dusty gravel that added another unusual obstacle following the stage 9 trip to Roubaix over 15 sectors of cobblestones.

The Plateau des Glières is where 121 Résistance fighters died in March 1944 during a German assault, according to the Cyclingnews stage preview, and a massive national monument commemorates the tragic event. But stage 10 was more of a tribute to those heroes of World War II than an exercise in trying to see a rider turn the Tour upside down, as Chris Froome (Team Sky) did on the gravel roads of the Colle delle Finestre at this year's Giro d'Italia.

Indeed, of the GC contenders, only Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac) fell on hard times, losing 2:36 to his main rivals on the stage, and even that was more due to the injuries the Colombian suffered in a crash on the stage 9 cobbles.

Click or slide through the gallery above for a glimpse of Tuesday's action.

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