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July 10 update: The first mountain stage of this year's Tour takes place in the Jura where we were on Stage 8 and it's after a rest day so it may feature some surprises. This stage is almost identical to a stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné from last month except the finishing climbs are closer to the finish.
Starting in Mâcon which has previously hosted four Tour stages, the stage heads east through a flat portion of the Rhône-Alpes until we hit the Jura mountain range which will provide lots of climbing in the second half of this 195 km stage.
Of the three categorized climbs, the hors categorie Col du Grand Colombier (17.4 km at 7.1 %) will be a real test for the GC contenders and it's the first time the Tour has used this climb. Expect strong descenders like Cadel Evans and Vincenzo Nibali to attack over the top in a bid to chip away at Bradley Wiggins' big race lead. The cat 3 Col de Richemond (7.2 km @ 5 %) then pops up just 21 km from the finish which is 25 km closer to the finish than the Critérium du Dauphiné stage last month. Expect the break to be whittle down on this final climb producing another possible solo winner. — Steve