Tdf2019 Stage6 Blog 1200×675

Tour de France 2019: Stage 6 Preview

BY Lydia Tanner

La Planche des Belles Filles is the Tour's first big climb—and may force GC contenders to show their cards.

  • Mulhouse > La Planche des Belles Filles
  • Date: 07/11/2019
  • Distance: 160.5 km
  • Type: Mountain

Stage 6 of the 2019 Tour de France returns to La Planche des Belles Filles—this time with an extra kilometer of climbing tacked on to the iconic Category 1 summit finish. If that wasn’t enough, the miles leading to the finish are far from flat; punchy, categorized climbs pepper the entire route. Stage 6 will test the sprinters, fracture the peloton, and force GC contenders to show their cards, possibly for the first time in the race.

The last time the Tour visited La Planche des Belles Filles was in 2017. Italian Fabio Aru (UAE) took the dramatic win, with GC favorites Chris Froome (Sky) and Richie Porte (BMC) chasing hard behind. Although he finished :20 behind Aru, it was on this stage that Froome took yellow in 2017, thanks to the time bonus for third place. Will the eventual Tour winner make a similar mark in 2019? Only time will tell.

In 2017 we <<analyzed a power file>> from Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-First) on La Planche des Belles Filles. The Colombian rider went on to take second in the GC, but on this day he was 7th on the stage; about six seconds behind Froome and 26 seconds behind Aru. Uran averaged a massive 380w, or 6.03 w/kg for the duration of the final climb, with an average heart rate of 186. The six-kilometer C1 climb took him 16:35 minutes to cover. Look for many of the same GC favorites to duke it out with similarly impressive numbers in 2019.

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About Lydia Tanner

Lydia Tanner is the athlete content editor at TrainingPeaks. She was formerly an editor at Bicycling Magazine and contributor to Bike Magazine, Mountain Flyer, and RedBull. She is a two-time collegiate national champion in XC MTB, and raced the World Championships as a U23. She is perpetually curious about physiology and human performance.