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Tour de France Stage 13 Preview
Friday, July 9
Long, hot breakaway stage
Virtually the whole of this stage is on winding back roads skirting the southern edge of the Massif Central. The stage starts outside the Roman Arena in Nîmes and finishes next to the impressive towers of the medieval Cité in Carcassonne—where a Tour stage has never ended in a bunch sprint. With the rolling terrain and forecast hot, sunny weather, this stage has all the ingredients for a successful long-distance breakaway—especially as the GC riders will be focused on the two Pyrenean climbing stages coming up this weekend. The final 22 kilometers are the same as in 2018 when the Tour last finished a stage in Carcassonne. That day, the peloton finished 13 minutes behind a big break that was brought home by Magnus Cort Nielsen. Perhaps EF Education’s Dane will do a repeat.
After 2.1km on the streets of Carcassonne, at the end of a flat 200m straight, on 19.6 feet wide Boulevard Marcou.
SCHEDULE (all times EDT)
Ceremonial start, Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle, Nîmes: 6:05 a.m.; start on D40 (after 6.4km neutral to km0), 6:15 a.m.; Côte du Pic Saint-Loup (Cat. 4, 168.4km to go), 7:29 a.m.; Fontès (sprint, 115.7km to go), 8:44 a.m.; Cébazan (73.2km to go), 9:45 a.m.; Caunes-Minervois (22.4km to go), 10:57 a.m.; Carcassonne (finish, 219.9km), 11:29 a.m.
Analysis by Thierry Gouvenou and John Wilcockson.