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Stage 11, Tour de France 2018

Stage 11 of the Tour de France 2018 is 108.5km from Albertville to la Rosière Espace San Bernado. Climbs include the Montée de Bisanne, the Col du Pré, the Cormet de Roselend, and the climb to the finish at la Rosière. Christian Prudhomme describes this as a mid-distance stage, which could lead to high-intensity battles on the climbs.

Read about Stage 11 of the Tour de France 2018 here.

Stage 11, Tour de France 2018: video highlights

The climbers and GC contenders lit up the Tour de France today, and Geraint Thomas took the stage win and the yellow jersey. See video highlights of Stage 11:

Read the Hedgehog Stage 11 diary.

Stage 11, Tour de France 2018: facts, figures, and map

Stage classification Mountain
Distance 108.5km
Intermediate sprint Villard-sur-Doron
Climbs Montée de Bisanne (hors catégorie)
Col du Pré (hors catégorie)
Col de Cormet de Roselend (Category 2)
Climb to la Rosière (Category 1)

This is the official map of Stage 11.

The official Tour de France stage profile for Stage 11:

Profile of Stage 11, Tour de France 2018

Profile of Stage 11, Tour de France 2018, © ASO/Tour de France

Stage 11, Tour de France 2018: date & timings

Wednesday 18th July 2018.

The publicity caravan sets off from Albertville at 1200, and the peloton at 1400. The projected average speeds are 31, 33, and 35kmh, and depending on which is the most accurate, the riders are expected at the finish in La Rosière between 1710 and 1737.

Stage 11, Tour de France 2018: Mark Cavendish's prediction

Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish riding for Dimension Data, by Iggy, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

Mark Cavendish looks forward to the Tour de France for the BBC, and names his 'one to watch' - his prediction for the stage win.

'Another mountain day, and while it's only 108km, about half of that is uphill. It's the first mountain-top finish of this year's Tour, and it's likely to be a grinding out on the final climb, because it's not steep enough to see people absolutely blowing. A group will get whittled down gradually.

It's going to be difficult to stay within the time limit for the sprinters, but hopefully we've got a grupetto that just wants to reach Paris.

Opportunities for sprints are few and far between now, so hopefully the grupetto can collaborate, and we'll just look at surviving this.'

His one to watch? Chris Froome.

Stage 11, Tour de France 2018: the route

Stage 11, Tour de France 2018: the start at Albertville

Albertville

Olympic ice rink, Albertville, by Hedgehog Cycling

The stage starts in Albertville, which was also the start of Stage 19 of the 2016 Tour de France. On that occasion, the riders set off from the Stade Olympique d'Albertville; this time, they are starting from the Hôtel de Ville.

The neutralised section is quite short, and the départ réel comes a little way along the D925 route de Beaufort, before it veers away from the Arly river towards Venthon.

Stage 11, Tour de France 2018: Albertville to Beaufort

Montée de Bisanne, La Nuaz

La Nuaz, on the Montée de Bisanne, by HedgehogCyling

After the racing starts, the riders pass Venthon heading north east on the D925, alongside a stream (le Doron). They pass Queige.

Queige

Queige, by Hedgehog Cycling

While they are still on the flat road by the Doron, there's the day's intermediate sprint, just short of Villard-sur-Doron. (In the Middle Ages, Villard-sur-Doron was home to travelling jewellers, some of whom made a lot of money and built beautiful houses).

Villard-sur-Doron

Villard-sur-Doron, at the foot of la Montée de Bisanne, by HedgehogCycling

The first categorised climb of the stage, the Montée de Bisanne (hors catégorie), starts from Villard-sur-Doron.

Profile of Montée de Bisanne

The official Tour de France climb profile for the Montée de Bisanne, © ASO/Tour de France organisers

It's the D123 that goes up the Montée de Bisanne, to the ski resort of Bisanne 1500, in the Beaufortain range. It's unlikely to be as easy as 1,2,3, however, nor indeed A, B, C or do-re-mi. The slope is very steep, although of course the road uses hairpin bends (thirteen of them, by my count). Anyone who suffers from vertigo would be well-advised to avoid looking down over the side of the road, which has no barriers in most places.

Montée de Bisanne

Looking down on one of the hairpin bends on the Montée de Bisanne, by HedgehogCycling

Apart from the gradient, the other main hazards are the highly territorial sheepdogs belonging to the farms on the climb. They chase and harry vehicles and, presumably, cyclists. I'd speculate that the owners don't often throw tennis balls for their dogs to fetch: the risk of a ball rolling all the way down to Villard-sur-Doron would be too great, with the dog returning a week on Wednesday. Or maybe they attach strings to their tennis balls.

After the Montée de Bisanne, there's a descent to Beaufort.

Beaufort

Beaufort, by Jerome Bon, Licence CC BY 2.0

Stage 11, Tour de France 2018: Beaufort to Bourg-Saint-Maurice

Col du Pré

Col du Pré, by Stephen Colebourne, Licence CC BY-ND 2.0

Leaving the village of Beaufort, the climbing begins again, this time up to the Col du Pré (hors catégorie; 12.6km at an average 7.7%; 1,748m altitude at the top).

Profile of Col du Pré & Cormet de Roselend

Profile of the Col du Pré & Cormet de Roselend, © ASO/Tour de France

inrng says that the Col du Pré is an example of the 2018 Tour de France using smaller, back road climbs. The route is via Arêches, and it's after that the road narrows and 'the magic begins' (inrng). '...[I]t's the stuff of postcards, with chalets, cows, and a sustained slope...there are 15 hairpins in 7km - only with each bend the view down the valley improves.' Cycling Challenge says, 'At the top, views of the lake and mountains are stunning.'

2.5km after the Col du Pré, the riders reach the Barrage de Roselend - the dam which creates the Lac de Roselend.

Lac de Roselend

Lac de Roselend, by Stephen Colebourne, Licence CC BY-ND 2.0

After going along the barrage and the lake shore, this route meets the main D925 route up from Beaufort at the Col de Méraillet. On the D925, the riders continue around the end of the lake (several easy, scenic kilometres - Cycling Challenge). Then, the road rises up to the Cormet de Roselend (Category 2; 5.7km at 6.5%; 1,968m at the top). (Cormet is just another word for 'col' in the local Beaufortain patois). This is the Col Collective's video of the climb:

There's then a long descent to Bourg-Saint-Maurice, losing 1,156m height over a distance of 18.5km.

Bourg-Saint-Maurice

Bourg-Saint-Maurice seen from Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise, by genevieveromier, Licence CC BY 2.0

Stage 11, Tour de France 2018: the climb to the finish at la Rosière

La Rosiere

La Rosière, by genevieveromier, Licence CC BY 2.0

Leaving Bourg-Saint-Maurice, the road tilts up again. This is the climb to the finish at la Rosière (a good way short of the Col du Petit Saint-Bernard). It's Category 1,17.6km at an average 5.8%, and it reaches 1,855m altitude.

Profile of climb to la Rosiere

Profile of the climb to la Rosière, © ASO/Tour de France

Séez is just after the official start of the climb. Instead of staying on the main D1090, Stage 11 forks right on the D84 to Montvalézan. The hairpins, and the steepest sections, are after Montvalézan.

France 3's video report (below) has an interview with former professional rider Bernard Thévenet. He says there are a lot of changes in gradient, which should favour attacks. He believes Warren Barguil or Nairo Quintana could prosper here.

The finish of the stage is at la Rosière Espace San Bernado.

Stage 11, Tour de France 2018: clues from the Dauphiné

On Saturday 9th June 2018, Stage 6 of the Critérium du Dauphiné tackled a route almost identical to that of Stage 11 of the Tour de France 2018. Pello Bilbao (Astana) won from a breakaway. The GC contenders finished next, with Geraint Thomas the fastest of them, taking second place on the day, at 21s behind Pello. Dan Martin and Romain Bardet were third and fourth, 2s behind the Welshman, and Adam Yates was fifth a further 3s back. Vincenzo Nibali was 11 minutes 58 seconds down on the stage winner. Here's a video summary of the Dauphiné stage:

Stage 11, Tour de France 2018: favourites for the stage win

Nairo Quintana

Nairo Quintana, by nuestrociclismo.com, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

The rider who wins on Stage 11 needs to be able to go uphill and downhill fast! That could mean Vincenzo Nibali, Adam Yates, Chris Froome, or Romain Bardet. Perhaps Nairo Quintana will organise his racing in 2018 in a way that suits him better, so that he is in top form when the Tour de France hits the Alps.

Stage 11, Tour de France 2018: comments

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Stage 12, Tour de France 2018

Alpe d'Huez, road graffiti

The road to Alpe d'Huez, by Maurice Koop, Licence CC BY-ND 2.0

Stage 12 of the Tour de France 2018 is 175km from Bourg Saint-Maurice to Alpe-d'Huez. 

Read about Stage 12 of the 2018 Tour de France.

Stage 11, Tour de France 2018: towns, sights and attractions

Stage 11, Tour de France 2018: Albertville

Albertville

Albertville, by HedgehogCycling

Albertville is a town on the river Arly, near its confluence with the river Isère. It is surrounded by mountains - the Bauges to the west, the Beaufortain to the north, and the Chaine de la Lauzière to the south.

Albertville was on the Roman route from Milan to Vienna (which crossed the Alps via the Col du Petit St-Bernard). Because of the confluence of the Arly and the Isère, the Romans called the higher part of the town ad confluentes. (This part of Albertville is called Conflans today). There was a customs post lower down, referred to as ad publicanos

At the end of the C12th, the Knights Hospitaller of St John of Jerusalem founded a hospital for travellers and pilgrims down near the river, and the village which developed around it was called l'Hopital.

Saracen Tower, Conflans

Saracen Tower, Conflans, by HedgehogCycling

Modern Albertville was formed in 1836 by King Charles Albert of Sardinia (of the House of Savoie). He merged the medieval town of Conflans with the town of l'Hopital.

Albertville's economy is largely industrial, with hydroelectricity and paper mills. Kassbohrer, who make piste bashers, have premises here.

Olympic ice rink, Albertville

Albertville Olympic ice rink, by HedgehogCycling

Albertville hosted the 1992 Winter Olympics. Many of the events took place in nearby ski resorts, including Le Praz (ski jumping), Val d'Isère (men's giant slalom, Super G, downhill, and combined), Méribel (women's Alpine skiing events), and Les Menuires (men's slalom). The skating took place in Albertville: the ice rink (Halle de Glace Olympique) remains; the speed skating venue (l'anneau de vitesse) has been given over to athletics.

There's a travel festival in Albertville at the end of October, for travel writers and photographers, called Le Grand Bivouac. Albertville Jazz Festival is at the end of July.

There's a cycle path most of the way from Albertville to Annecy.

Stage 11, Tour de France 2018: Beaufort

Beaufort, Cooperative Laitiere

Beaufort, Coopérative Laitière, by Jerome Bon, Licence CC BY 2.0

Beaufort, or Beaufort-sur-Doron, is a village in the Beaufortain area of Savoie. It's close to the winter and summer resort of Arêches-Beaufort.

Other than tourism, the main occupation is agriculture. The village of Beaufort gives its name to Beaufort cheese (a firm, raw cow's milk cheese similar to gruyère.

Stage 11, Tour de France 2018: Bourg-Saint-Maurice

Bourg-Saint-Maurice

Bourg-Saint-Maurice (public domain)

Bourg-Saint-Maurice is a town in the Tarentaise valley, on the river Isère.

It is surrounded by ski resorts, and there's a funicular railway link to Arc 1600, part of Les Arcs. Bourg-Saint-Maurice is also popular in the summer as a base for walking, mountain biking, and road cycling. There's a whitewater canoe and kayak slalom course on the Isère at Bourg, used for training and competitions.

Stage 11, Tour de France 2018: la Rosière

La Rosiere

La Rosière, by genevieveromier, Licence CC BY 2.0

La Rosière is a ski resort in the Savoie département of France. It is the Col du Petit Saint-Bernard which leads to Italy, and it is linked to the Italian resort of la Thuile. The whole ski area including the French and Italian resorts is called the Espace San Bernado.

Towards the top of the ski area is the Redoute Ruinée, a border fort originally built by the French in the 1890s, and which resisted Italian attacks for a time at the start of World War II. It was badly damaged when French forces tried to take it back towards the end of the war.

AlbertvilleCol du PréLa Rosiere

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