Tour de France 2014 Stage 10 will commence on Monday. In Stage 9, Tony Martin of the Omega Pharma-Quick Step registered victory after a 59-kilometre solo surge. A new yellow jersey holder emerged in the form of Tony Gallopin of the Lotto Belisol as well.
Stage 10 will be an acid test for the riders' endurance. The daunting task of climbing the steep La Planche Des Billes lies before the contestants. This is the last of the Vosges. It was here that Chris Frome recorded his first Tour de France victory two seasons earlier.
This stage will see the contestants cover a distance of 161.5 kilometres as they begin their ascent toward the La Planche Des Billes from Mulhouse itself, the ending point of the last stage.
The contestants have to contend with no less than seven gruelling climbs one after the other. The Col du Firstplan appears first and an intermediate sprint will be seen shortly after this climb. After this, the contestants encounter the arduous Petit Ballon and Col du Platzerwasel. Thereafter, three more relatively simpler climbs appear before the last two mountains - the Col d 'Oderen and the Col des Croix, reported CyclingQuotes.
For the first 20 kilometres, flat territory is before the contestants. If in the previous stage the flat ending 20 kilometres gave the contestants an opportunity to make up for lost ground and increase their pace, here the first 20 kilometres can see them take an early lead and consolidate their position.
The concluding stages have 21.5 kilometres in it. Riding in the last 500 metres comes across an easier proposition as compared to the earlier climbs, according to the website.
Monday is Bastille Day, a day of great historical significance, and the French contestants will be hoping to leave an impression behind. Stage 9 is being held in racer Thibaut Pinot's home-territory and he will be looking to use the conditions familiar to him.
Spaniard Albert Contandor is said to be the favourite to win this stage. Martin will be looking to repeat his Stage 9 success, while his namesake Gallopin will look to strengthen his hold on the yellow jersey.
Tour de France 2014 into its 10th day will have a rest day tomorrow, providing the contestants a chance to recharge their batteries.
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