After a day in the mid mountains the tour returns to a relatively flat stage. The first stage under 200 km in three days at 190.5 km, will be a welcome change for the riders. The course starts heading south out of Arpajon-sur-Cère for the first 32 km. The course then veers more southwest descending into Vieillevie. The first climb of the day is a category 3 climb on the Col des Estaques at 62 km. The road continues on a positive gradient up to the category 4 climb up Côte d'Aubin at 71.5 km. The intermediate sprint comes as riders crest over some smaller non categorized climbs at Montbazens 77.5 km into the race. The remainder of the stage is a net negative gradient but has a couple of non categorized climbs and the category 3 climb up Côte de Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val at 149 km. The finish into Montauban is slightly downhill and riders will contend with a roundabout and two turns in the last 1.5 km.
|Avg. Peloton Speed
|Avg. Pulling Power
|Avg. Pulling Yaw
There will be a prevailing crosswind for the whole course, but with wind speeds under 6 km/h there will be no noticeable effect on the riders. The real issue for riders will be temperatures which will start around 25 degrees celsius but rise throughout the day to near 35 degrees (95 Fahrenheit). Humidity will be low throughout the day, but the heat may have an impact.
After the first mountain day riders might want to take the first half of the ride a bit easier. There will most likely be another early break, but sprint teams will know this is the last chance for a stage win over the next few days with the early mountain stages looming. We doubt there will be another epic ride like Greg Van Avermaet, but we didn't see that coming on today's stage! The real battle for the riders will be against the scorching heat. Temperatures will be higher than anything they have seen thus far. Average power tends to drop as much as 10% for some riders in temperatures above 30-35, so teams may send riders on shorter pulls to compensate and keep the average speeds up. The three climbs are tame relative to what's to come in the Pyrenees tomorrow. The first climb up Col des Estaques will take about 4 min for riders pushing 6 watts/kg (or around 400 watts). The category 4 climb of Côte d'Aubin is shorter at 1.3 km but with a similar gradient, riders should crest this in a little over 3:30 min. The final climb of Côte de Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val is a bit longer at 3.2 km and at that same 6 watts/kg will take a bit over 7 min. These climbs are unlikely to put too much stress on any of the peloton. The last 40 km should provide ample time for the sprint teams to pull back a break and set up for the leadout trains into the last couple of km. The finish might be a bit hectic with riders fighting for position around the final roundabout and through the last right hand turn before the sprint opens up. The final sprint stretch may favor Kittel again with that high top end speed on a slight decline. To perform this analysis we adjusted the time analysis power slider to only 1% power gain then looked at the three category climbs to see the type of Watts/kg top riders will hit on the smaller climbs. We have used this analysis to help refine what data we should show on our different charts. Yesterday we added Average Grade and Watts/kg to the TA tool to help further enhance analysis. We will continue to refine things throughout the tour to give a better experience.
Analysis was performed by modeling the peloton as a single rider using front of the pack drag characteristics and pulling power targets. Take a look at the entire race plan that was used for this analysis, which includes additional features, metrics and downloadable files.
Stage 6 Race Plan: https://www.bestbikesplit.com/client/43844