Skip to main content

A gravel grinder at the Tour de France - Gallery

Image 1 of 29

Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) rides alone up the Col Des Glières

Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) rides alone up the Col Des Glières
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 2 of 29

Greg Van Avermaet rides through the gravel during stage 10 at the Tour de France

Greg Van Avermaet rides through the gravel during stage 10 at the Tour de France
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 3 of 29

Luke Rowe leads the Team Sky formation up the gravel climb

Luke Rowe leads the Team Sky formation up the gravel climb
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 4 of 29

Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) and Rein Taaramee (Direct Energie) ride in the gravel during stage 10 at the Tour de France

Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) and Rein Taaramee (Direct Energie) ride in the gravel during stage 10 at the Tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 5 of 29

Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) and Rein Taaramee (Direct Energie) ride in the gravel during stage 10 at the Tour de France

Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) and Rein Taaramee (Direct Energie) ride in the gravel during stage 10 at the Tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 6 of 29

Mountains loom ominously over the gravel sector during stage 10 at the Tour de France

Mountains loom ominously over the gravel sector during stage 10 at the Tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 7 of 29

The peloton is lined out in the gravel during stage 10 at the Tour de France

The peloton is lined out in the gravel during stage 10 at the Tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 8 of 29

Crowds packed the gravel sector during stage 10 at the Tour de France

Crowds packed the gravel sector during stage 10 at the Tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 9 of 29

Commemorative plaque to the Maquis des Glières, French resistance to the Nazis during World War II

Commemorative plaque to the Maquis des Glières, French resistance to the Nazis during World War II
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 10 of 29

Spectators with flares greet the riders during stage 10 at the tour de France

Spectators with flares greet the riders during stage 10 at the tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 11 of 29

Fans along the route get showered in dust during stage 10 at the tour de France

Fans along the route get showered in dust during stage 10 at the tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 12 of 29

 Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) rides through the dust toward Col Des Glières

Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) rides through the dust toward Col Des Glières
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 13 of 29

The Tour de France caravan kicks up dust during stage 10

The Tour de France caravan kicks up dust during stage 10
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 14 of 29

Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) is caught in the caravan during stage 10 at the Tour de France

Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) is caught in the caravan during stage 10 at the Tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 15 of 29

Scenery along the route of stage 10 at the Tour de France

Scenery along the route of stage 10 at the Tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 16 of 29

Jonathan Castroviejo (Team Sky) reaches for a beverage during stage 10 at the Tour de France

Jonathan Castroviejo (Team Sky) reaches for a beverage during stage 10 at the Tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 17 of 29

 Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Quick-Step Floors) was off lead-out duties for today

Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Quick-Step Floors) was off lead-out duties for today
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 18 of 29

The peloton pushes through the gravel during stage 10 at the Tour de France

The peloton pushes through the gravel during stage 10 at the Tour de France
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 19 of 29

Team Sky leads the peloton up the gravel climb

Team Sky leads the peloton up the gravel climb
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 20 of 29

Team Sky controlled the race up the gravel climb

Team Sky controlled the race up the gravel climb
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 21 of 29

Chris Froome (Team Sky) climbs to Plateau des Glieres

Chris Froome (Team Sky) climbs to Plateau des Glieres
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 22 of 29

Chris Froome (Team Sky) climbs to Plateau des Glieres

Chris Froome (Team Sky) climbs to Plateau des Glieres
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 23 of 29

The peloton ascends to Plateau des Glieres

The peloton ascends to Plateau des Glieres
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 24 of 29

Fans had a birds-eye view of the gravel action during stage 10 at the Tour de France

Fans had a birds-eye view of the gravel action during stage 10 at the Tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 25 of 29

The peloton ascends to Plateau des Glieres

The peloton ascends to Plateau des Glieres
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 26 of 29

The gravel sector was relatively short, but there was plenty of dust along the way

The gravel sector was relatively short, but there was plenty of dust along the way
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 27 of 29

Romain Bardet rides in the ascent of the Plateau des Glieres

Romain Bardet rides in the ascent of the Plateau des Glieres
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 28 of 29

Julian Alaphilippe ascends Plateau des Glieres during stage 10 of the Tour de France

Julian Alaphilippe ascends Plateau des Glieres during stage 10 of the Tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Image 29 of 29

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) rides through the dust on Montee du plateau des Glieres during stage 10

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) rides through the dust on Montee du plateau des Glieres during stage 10
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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.