Preview: Everything you need to know about Stage 9 of the 2017 Tour de France
Date: Sunday, July 9
Distance: 181.5km (113.4mi)
Starting with a category 2 climb and not getting any easier as the day goes on, Stage 9 presents teams with ample opportunities to blow the race apart before the first rest day. Three main climbs make up the day, all with average gradients over 9%, making it the hardest day of this year’s Tour de France. Expect a few general classification men to crack and lose minutes as the final climb, the Mont du Chat, is without a doubt one of the hardest mountains to be used by the Tour. A must watch stage, every rider will be tested whether it is for the stage win or simply making time cut.
Christian Prudhomme, race director: “Even in the Alps and the Pyrenees, climbs with average gradients of close to 10% on their entire length are pretty rare. There will be three on this Jura stage with a total ascending elevation of 4600 metres. The riders will first discover the climb up the Col de la Biche, followed by the unprecedented and fearsome side of the Grand Colombier, known as the Directissime (gradients up to 22%), and will finish the battle off with the Mont du Chat, not on the Tour map since 1974.
Chris Froome, Team Sky: “I’m grateful that I got a feel of Mont du Chat at the Dauphiné and especially its downhill but I expect more damage in Sunday’s stage than at the Dauphiné because of the two climbs before the Mont du Chat. The top 10 riders on GC are still very close. We’ll know more about each other after the coming weekend.”