Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles (161.5km)
Monday, July 14th 7:30 a.m. – 11:32 a.m. EDT
The 5.9km climb up to La Planche des Belles Filles made its Tour debut in 2012, and proved so popular and spectacular that it has been brought back. Although the average gradient is only 8.5 percent, it starts with a 13 percent section and the final ramp is an agonizing 20 percent. It was here in 2012 that defending champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) gained his first ever Tour stage victory, having chased down an attack by Cadel Evans, who was then reigning champion. There should be some real fireworks as there are seven climbs in 130 kilometers, including the Col des Chevrères with its sections at 15 percent. This will be the first real chance for the contenders to take time out of each other. We won’t know who the eventual winner in Paris will be, but after this stage, we may well know the names of those who have lost the Tour.