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Explanation at the top on the slopes of Puy Mary?

ByRoborto Sykes

Sep 11, 2020
They would surely have slapped a friendly slap together on the runners as if to encourage them one last time after a difficult day. On Wednesday, during the stage in tribute to Raymond Poulidor and Jacques Chirac, the shadow of these two personalities hovered over the peloton in Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat and Sarran, strongholds of the two men who disappeared two months before interval last year. The first, great champion of the discipline, and the second, who liked athletes more than the sport itself, certainly gave to this stage, the longest of this edition, a nostalgic dimension, that of memory. The taste for effort, these two accomplices have certainly experienced it, at one time or another, on one field or another during their career. The runners will experience it this Friday, maybe more than Thursday and less than this weekend. “The volcanic stage”, as Tour director Christian Prudhomme had renamed it, serves as the framework for this 13th day of racing. Seven climbs are on the program, including an unprecedented arrival at the top of Puy Mary, called the “Pyramide du Cantal”. Not sure that magma gushes out at the tip of it elsewhere but favorites in the general classification, yes.

4400 vertical meters

But first, you will have to overcome the previous difficulties: the Col de Ceyssat (1st category, 10.2 km at 6.1%), the Col de Guéry (3rd category, 7.8 km at 5%) and the Montée de The Stele (2nd category, 6.8 km at 5.7%). The organizers of the green jersey will be able to have fun at Lanobre (kilometer 111) where an intermediate sprint awaits them but that they be warned, it will be their only attraction of the day. As soon as the descent is over, it will be time to go back up, where the hardest part is yet to come. The Côte de l’Estiade (3rd category, 3.7 km at 6.9%) will precede the Côte d’Anglards-de-Salers (3rd category, 3.5 km at 6.9%). Then the crossing of the Massif Central will offer the grand finale. The Col de Neronne (2nd category, 3.8 km at 9.1%) will be an opportunity for the favorites to climb to the front of the peloton before the finish. But here again, the last kilometers before reaching the Puy Mary for the first time (1st category, 5.4 km at 8.1%) will be perilous where the last three are at more than 11%. Arrival is scheduled between 4:47 p.m. and 5:18 p.m. More than 4,400 meters of elevation gain, 191.5 km in total between Châtel-Guyon and the Pyramide du Cantal, it was well worth some encouragement from Poupou and Jacques Chirac the day before.

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