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Stage 9, Tour de France 2017: Nantua to Chambéry

A guide to Stage 9 of the Tour de France 2017, which is 181.5km from Nantua to Chambéry. This Jura stage has three climbs with average gradients of 10% (the Col de la Biche, the Grand Colombier, and the Mont du Chat), and on the ascent of the Grand Colombier via the Directissime route, there are sections at 22%; the total climbing is 4,600m. Stage 9 ends with 25km of downhill and flat. Read about Stage 9 of the Tour de France 2017 here.

Uran beats Barguil by a tyre on Stage 9

9th July 2017

Rigoberto Uran

Rigoberto Uran in his Quick-Step days, by Filip Bossuyt, Licence CC BY 2.0

Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte both crashed out, Warren Barguil (Sunweb) took the polka-dot jersey and second place, Froome was third (taking 4s bonus), but the stage winner was Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale Drapac).

Stage 9, Tour de France 2017: facts, figures, and map

Stage 9 of the Tour de France 2017 starts in Nantua, and takes in a number of climbs in the Jura, plus the Mont du Chat between the Jura and the Alps, before descending to the Lac du Bourget, and finishing with a flat run along the lake to Chambéry.

Stage classification Mountain
Distance 181.5km
Intermediate sprint Massignieu-de-Rives
Climbs Côte de Neyrolles (Category 2)
Col de Bérentin (Category 3)
Côte de Franclens (Category 3)
Col de la Biche (HC)
Grand Colombier (HC)
Côte de Jongieux (Category 4)
Mont du Chat (HC)

This is the official map of Stage 9.

The official Tour de France stage profile for Stage 9:

Profile of Stage 9, Tour de France 2017

Profile of Stage 9, Tour de France 2017, © ASO/Tour de France organisers

Stage 9, Tour de France 2017: date & timings

Stage 9 is on Sunday 9th July 2017. A rest day follows on Monday 10th July.

The publicity caravan leaves Nantua at 09h45, and arrives at the finish in Chambéry at 15h24. The peloton sets off from Nantua (départ fictif) at 11h45, and arrives at the finish between 16h45 and 17h24.

Stage 9, Tour de France 2017: the route

Stage 9, Tour de France 2017: the start in Nantua

Nantua and the Nantua Lake

Nantua & Lac de Nantua, by Marie Claire Mathey, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

The stage starts in Nantua, a town at the end of the Lac de Nantua. All roads out of Nantua are uphill.

Stage 9, Tour de France 2017: Nantua to Seyssel

Seyssel

Seyssel, by Christine und Hagen Graf, Licence CC BY 2.0

Leaving Nantua (593m), the riders start climbing nearly straight away, and head up the first the categorised climb on the stage, the Côte de Neyrolles (825m at the top, 3.2km of climbing at an average gradient of 7.2%, Category 2). They then continue to climb, to the Col de Bérentin (1,144m at the top, 4.1km at an average of 6.1%, Category 3). From there, it's a short distance to the Col de Cuvéry (1,180m), then to the Panorama Plateau de Retord.

Plateau de Retord

Plateau de Retord, by Benoît Prieur, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

From the Plateau de Retord, the riders descend to Vouvray (not that one, but it does have wine cellars), and continue to the Barrage de Génissiat on the river Rhône.

Barrage de Génissiat

Barrage de Génissiat, by Chriusha, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

After passing the Barrage de Génissiat, the riders climb away from the river Rhône to Franclens. This is the Côte de Franclens, Category 3, 2.4km at an average gradient of 6%. They continue south to the town of Seyssel, where they cross the Rhône again.

Stage 9, Tour de France 2017: Seyssel to Culoz

Col de la Biche

Col de la Biche, by ulfulfl, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

From Seyssel (367m), the race heads up west into the Montagne du Grand Colombier, on the D123, to the Col de la Biche (1,325m). The top of the classified climb is actually at the Croix de Famban (1,316m; hors catégorie climb; 10.5km at 9%), just short of the Col. The climb is followed by a steep descent to Brénaz.

Profile of the climbs of Col de la Biche & Grand Colombier

Profile of the climbs of Col de la Biche & Grand Colombier, © ASO/Tour de France organisers

A short distance south of Brénaz is Lochieu, then Virieu-le-Petit (648m), where the climb of the Grand Colombier itself begins.

Grand Colombier

Grand Colombier seen from the river Rhône

The Grand Colombier is climbed quite often in the Tour de l'Ain, but its first appearance in the Tour de France was in 2012, when it was tackled from Culoz, and Thomas Voeckler was first to the top. It featured on Stage 15 of the 2016 Tour de France.

The various routes up the Grand Colombier are detailed on the website of the Brotherhood of Grand Colombier Nuts (Confrérerie des Fêlés du Grand Colombier). The route on Stage 9 is the most direct and therefore the steepest of all, with a section at 22%. It's an hors catégorie climb, 8.5km at an average gradient of 9.9%.

Croix du Grand Colombier

La Croix du Grand Colombier, by Anthospace, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

The top of the climb is the Col du Grand Colombier, at 1,501m. This is where the road crosses the Montagne du Grand Colombier between its highest point (1,534m), to the south of the Col, and the Croix du Grand Colombier (1,525m), to the north of the Col.

The original plan was to descend on the D120 via the lacets du Grand Colombier (a series of tight hairpins) to Culoz. However, there was a rockfall on 8th March 2017, which has closed the D120 above Culoz until the end of 2017. The diversion is on the D120A to Anglefort, then along the river Rhône to Culoz.

Culoz

Culoz, by Florian Pépellin, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Stage 9, Tour de France 2017: Culoz to le Bourget du Lac

Summit of Mont du Chat

Summit of Mont du Chat, by Anthospace, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

There's a mainly flat run from Culoz to Massignieu-de-Rives, for the intermediate sprint - which is being held because they have one every day, not because there's any chance of the sprinters contesting the green jersey being at the front and taking points. 

Profile of sprint on Stage 9, Tour de France 2017

Profile of sprint on Stage 9, Tour de France 2017, © ASO/Tour de France

After crossing the Rhône at Lucey, the road goes uphill, on what's called the Côte de Jongieux (Category 4, 3.9km at 4.2%). Next, the riders reach Saint-Paul-sur-Yenne (428m), at the foot of the Mont du Chat.

Profile of the climb of Mont du Chat

Profile of the climb of the Mont du Chat, © ASO/Tour de France organisers

It's a steep climb up the Mont du Chat, with sections at 14% and 15%. Hors catégorie, 8.7km at an average gradient of 10.3%.

Hairpins on the ascent of Mont du Chat

Hairpins on the ascent of Mont du Chat from Saint-Paul-sur-Yenne, by Anthospace, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

The summit is at an altitude of 1,504m. A series of hairpin bends take the riders down a steep descent to le Bourget-du-Lac (310m), on the Lac du Bourget.

Lac du Bourget

Le Lac du Bourget, by Olivier Duquesne, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Stage 9, Tour de France 2017: le Bourget du Lac to the finish in Chambéry

Château de Chambéry

Château des ducs de Savoie in Chambéry, by Guilhem Vellut, Licence CC BY 2.0

From le Bourget-du-Lac, there's 12.5km of flat to the finish in Chambéry, at the Chambéry-Challes-les-Eaux station, so the riders can get straight on the train for the Dordogne and their rest day.

Stage 9, Tour de France 2017: favourites for the stage win

Chris Froome and Richie Porte

Chris Froome and Richie Porte in their days together at Team Sky

Stage 9 is a tough mountain day. Could one or more of the overall contenders make an impact? It's plausible to think that the field could be in pieces on the final climb, the Mont du Chat. Then there's 12.5km of steep descent, followed by 12.5km of flat. Will the peloton come back together, or could an unholy alliance of two or three favourites stay out front and put time into the rivals?

I can see Chris Froome reaching the line with a few others - perhaps Fabio Aru, Jakob Fuglsang, Simon Yates, and Richie Porte.

Stage 9, Tour de France 2017: comments

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Stage 10, Tour de France 2017

La Roque-Gageac

La Roque-Gageac, by Stéphane Mignon, Licence CC BY 2.0

Stage 10 of the Tour de France 2017 is 178km from Périgueux to Bergerac, taking in the Lascaux cave, and beautiful villages along the Dordogne river, like la Roque-Gageac.

It's a flat stage, which will favour the sprinters. 

Read about Stage 10, Tour de France 2017.

Stage 9, Tour de France 2017: towns, sights and attractions

Stage 9, Tour de France 2017: Nantua

Lac de Nantua

Lac de Nantua, by Roger Moretti, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Nantua is a town in the Ain département. It's name comes from the Gallic nanto or nantu, meaning valley or ravine.

The town grew up around a Benedictine monastery which was founded in 671 by St Amand.

There was active Resistance in Nantua during the Second World War, and as a result, a number of young men were rounded up by the Germans, and deported.

Nantua stands at the end of the Lac de Nantua, and under high limestone cliffs. It is known to motorists for the Nantua viaduct, which takes the A40 autoroute over the D1084, just south of the town.

Nantua sauce is a Béchamel sauce with cream and crayfish butter.

Stage 9, Tour de France 2017: Seyssel

Seyssel panorama

Seyssel panorama, by Vincent Gressard, Licence CC BY 2.0

Seyssel is a town on the river Rhône, the majority of which (to the west of the river) is the Ain département. The smaller section of the town to the east of the river is in Haute Savoie. The two sides are linked by a suspension bridge with a statue of the Virgin Mary, the pont de la Vierge Noire.

A little upstream from the town is the Barrage de Seyssel, which is a hydroelectric power facility.

Stage 9, Tour de France 2017: le Bourget-du-Lac & the Lac du Bourget

Lac du Bourget

Lac du Bourget, by Frédérique Voisin-Demery, Licence CC BY 2.0

Le Bourget-du-Lac

Le Bourget-du-Lac is a small town at the southern end of the Lac du Bourget.

Bourget is the diminutive of 'bourg', and means small village or hamlet. The site has been inhabited since Neolithic times. The counts of Savoie had a château here, which was their main residence from 1285 to 1434. Known as the château of Thomas II, it is now in ruins. The town was linked by railway to Chambéry in 1838.

Le Bourget-du-Lac has one of the campuses of the University of Savoie-Mont-Blanc, and therefore has a significant student population. On the same site as the campus is Savoie Technolac, which is home to innovative technology enterprises, including the national institute for solar energy, and Energy Pool, which specialises in energy management services.

Le Bourget-du-Lac has a beach on the shore of the Lac du Bourget.

The Lac du Bourget

The Lac du Bourget is the largest natural glacial lake in France (not counting Lac Léman, which is partly in Switzerland). It was formed at the end of the last ice age, around 19,000 years ago.

The lake is 44.5km2 in surface area, 18km long, and between 1.6 and 3.5km wide. The maximum depth is 145m.

The Lac du Bourget became very polluted, and from the 1970s, action was taken to clean it up.

The lake is of major ecological interest, and home to many species of fish and birds, as well as being a haven for migrating birds. Reed beds have been restored at the southern end of the lake, and the European pond turtle has been successfully reintroduced. The kingfisher also prospers amongst the reeds.

Stage 9, Tour de France 2017: Chambéry

Fontaine des Eléphants, Chambéry

Fontaine des Eléphants, Chambéry, by ludovic, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Chambéry is an important town in the Savoie département. It was the historic capital of the counts, later dukes, of Savoie.

It was in 1295 that the counts of Savoie made Chambéry their capital, and that lasted until 1563, when they moved to Turin. The House of Savoy went on to become kings of Italy, until Italy became a Republic at the end of World War II. In 1860, the former lands of the House of Savoie on the French side of the Alps became part of France, under Napoléon III.

The château of the counts of Savoie still stands in Chambéry. It is used for the administration of the département of Savoie.

Chambéry has a large student population. Olivier Giroud is from Chambéry.

Nantua & the Lac de NantuaSeysselMont du Chat

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