Stage 9 Issoire to Saint Four – 208km
Todays stage is an important stage for the riders. Going into the rest day tomorrow they will want to be placed well on GC and in looking at the stage profile for today I can suggest that this stage is going to be extremely aggressive. The sprinters will not be contesting the Sprint Prime at Neuvéglise and will therefore lose out on valuable points. This would be the time for Ghilbert to put some distance between himself and the others in this category. Gilbert is reminding me more and more of the Sean Kelly school of racing. It’s quite possible that he will take the Green jersey in Paris. This stage is again more like a classic race. It will be a war of attrition with the from group getting smaller by the kilometer as the day unfolds.
If a group goes up the road today it would need to have very strong rouleurs in to have any chance of staying away due to the stage being so demanding, this could be a stage for the likes of Voekler or Chavanel.
Calorie consumption today will 3500+ on the bike with more liquids being consumed due to the rise in temperatures as the rider’s head south.