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Tour de France 2022 - Stage 7 preview

Stage 7: Tomblaine to La Super Planche des Belles Filles

Date: July 8, 2022

Distance: 176.3km

Stage timing: 13:05 - 17:15 CEST

Stage type: Mountain

Stage 7 sees the first mountaintop finish of the 2022 Tour on the first-category Super Planche des Belles Filles. The seven-kilometre climb with an average gradient of 8.7% will see the first showdown between the GC favourites.

Starting in a suburb of Nancy, the first 101km are without any serious difficulties, slowly gaining altitude to the intermediate sprint in Gérardmer. From there, the route traverses the foothills of the Vosges, crossing the third-category Col de Grosse Pierre, the uncategorised Col du Ménil, the category-three Col des Croix, and the uncategorised Col de la Chevestraye before the ascent to the finish starts in Plancher-les-Mines.

Climbing more than 600 metres in the span of seven kilometres, the Super Planche des Belles Filles climb has stretches of up to 11% and 13% on the first three kilometres. It then becomes a bit more regular before ramping up again in the final two kilometres, with a 20% ramp just before the flamme rouge. After crossing the old finish line with 1. km to go, the climb continues on an unpaved road, including a 24% ramp just before the new finish.

2019 was the first time the Super Planche was raced in the Tour, though after a harder stage than this year, and a breakaway was left to fight for the stage win. This may well happen again if the GC favourites don’t want to assume the yellow jersey too early; but regardless of a breakaway, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), Primož Roglič (Team Jumbo-Visma), and Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) will have to show their cards in earnest for the first time.

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