Tour de France 2024 stage 10 preview - another opportunity for the fast men

The last 60km of stage 10 are exposed – could crosswinds be a factor?

Date: Tuesday July 9, 2024
Distance: 187km
Start location: Orléans
Finish location: Saint-Amand-Montrond
Start time: 13:05 CET
Finish time (approx): 17:24 CET

By April of 1429, the city of Orléans had been laid siege to by the English for half a year, and morale was low. The city was seen as a crucial stronghold amid the 100 Years War, and it was feared that losing it would lead to overall defeat in the war. Hope came from an unlikely source — a peasant girl with the staunch belief that she had been blessed with vision of saints and angels, assuring her that the French would succeed. Her premonitions proved correct, and the siege collapsed mere days later, a decisive turning point in the war that ultimately led to victory for France. 

That peasant girl was of course Joan of Arc, who was hailed as an inspiration for her role at Orléans and later successful military campaigns, and then as a martyr after being sentenced to burn at the stake by the English a couple of years later, at the age of just nineteen. Her enduring appeal as a national hero lies in how she can mean something to so many different types of citizens, from a spiritually enlightened devout Catholic, a national defender of the crown of France, and a proto-feminist for her defiance of gender norms. Her appeal to the French is even mirrored in the kind of cyclists they revere — the underdogs who take on the superior forces through sheer resolve and bravery.  

The biggest contemporary favourite among the French public continues to be Julian Alaphilippe, and it's his hometown of Saint-Amand-Montrond that the first stage of the second week will finish at, having travelled south from Orléans. Even he in his prime wouldn’t be able to break clear from the peloton on a parcours as flat. There isn’t a single categorised climb all day, and the total elevation gain of under 1,000m is the lowest of any stage this whole edition. 

This is therefore a day for the sprinters, as it was the last time Saint-Amand-Montrond hosted a Tour de France stage finish in 2013, when the greatest of all time, Mark Cavendish, triumphed for his 25th career Tour stage win. Past experience and memory of the run-in to a sprint finish can sometimes be a great help when returning, knowing where all the twists and turns are; but not this time, as most of the hard work to win the stage had been done earlier when Cavendish’s Omega Pharma-QuickStep team and Alberto Contador’s Saxo-Tinkoff team split the race in crosswinds, leaving Cavendish with only Peter Sagan and a number of non-sprinters to beat in the final sprint. 

Could crosswinds be a factor again? The roads certainly look exposed for the final 60km, so if the wind does blow, and in the right direction, the race could explode. GC riders will have to remain alert. 

Tour de France 2024 stage 10 profile preview

Route profile sourced via ASO

Contenders

With good memories of winning here, Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan) could be a strong contender for the stage victory. And even though might have to contend with the other sprinters, he's already proved he can outsprint them to the line, having won stage five, which saw him make history as the rider with the most stage wins in the Tour de France. Cavendish looks in good form, as does his team, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see him secure a 36th stage win. Other riders who have already secured a stage win in the sprints are Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty) and Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco-Alula). Girmay, also in the green jersey, has had some impressive performances this Tour, taking two stages already and making history as the first black African to win a stage in this prestigious race. Groenewegen has also been in good form so far, and his victory, the first in two years, will boost his confidence going into the sprint stages.

However, one sprinter disappointed so far is Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck). Last year, he dominated the sprints. This year, however, has been a different story for Philipsen. His team have led him out excellently, but Philipsen has just lacked that winning kick that has seen him throw his arms up in celebration. He'll be hoping to turn it around and finally take his first stage win of this year's Tour.

Arnaud De Lie (Lotto Dstny) and Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X Mobility) have both been in the mix for the bunch sprints. De Lie has managed to secure two third-place podium spots in his Tour debut, but the 22-year-old rider will only want one podium spot – the number one spot. Kristoff's highest placing so far is also third place, and like De Lie, will want to better this in this next sprint opportunity.

While Fabio Jakobsen (Team dsm-firmenich PostNL) suffered during the stage which included more metres of elevation, on the flatter stages, he looked to be a strong contender for the win, taking seventh on stage three and fifth on stage five. With this being the flattest stage of the race, we expect to see him climb the ranks, maybe even take the stage win.

Other sprinters who will be contenders for the stage will be, Sam Bennett (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale), Pascal Ackermann (Israel-Premier Tech), Arnaud Démare (Aréa-B&B Hotels), Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Victorious), and Byran Coquard (Cofidis).

Stage 10 winner prediction

We are backing Jasper Philipsen for the stage win.

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