'Like having to ride the Koppenberg' – Riders, teams criticise unexpected route on Tour de France gravel stage

The peloton negotiating the thick gravel roads in Troyes on stage 9 at the Tour de France
The peloton negotiating the thick gravel roads in Troyes on stage 9 at the Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images)

As is always the case when a Grand Tour incorporates 'off-road' sectors into its parcours, opinion on the gravel-heavy stage 9 of the Tour de France in Troyes has been mixed.

The race has memorably visited the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix in the past and has also included gravel roads at the Plateau des Glières, too. Sunday's stage was the biggest day of gravel roads yet at the race, however.

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Dani Ostanek
Senior News Writer

Dani Ostanek is Senior News Writer at Cyclingnews, joining in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired full-time. Before joining the team, they had written for numerous major publications in the cycling world, including CyclingWeekly and Rouleur.

Dani has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, Road World Championships, and the spring Classics. They have interviewed many of the sport's biggest stars, including Mathieu van der Poel, Demi Vollering, and Remco Evenepoel. Their favourite races are the Giro d'Italia, Strade Bianche and Paris-Roubaix.

Season highlights from the 2024 season include reporting from Paris-Roubaix –  'Unless I'm in an ambulance, I'm finishing this race' – Cyrus Monk, the last man home at Paris-Roubaix – and the Tour de France – 'Disbelief', gratitude, and family – Mark Cavendish celebrates a record-breaking Tour de France sprint win.