- Mâcon > Saint-Étienne
- Date: July 13, 2019
- Distance: 200km
- Type: Hilly
In stage 8 the race enters the Massif Central, a mountainous region known for its high temperatures and tough climbs. With about 3800 meters (or 11,400 feet) of climbing over 200 km, this stage offers plenty of opportunity for aggressive racing—look for breakaways to form and possibly even succeed. If GC contenders are caught out on the rolling terrain, this could potentially be a very damaging day, though the right move could also help cement an early lead.
There are seven categorized climbs beginning at 51km, with sprint points available at 33km and the finish. A time bonus on the final climb will also motivate certain riders. In other words, racing will be exciting nearly from the gun, and will continue through the stage—this is not one to be missed.
The last time the race finished in Saint-Étienne was in 2014, when sprinter Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) took his first Tour de France stage win. Given the significant vertical on the day this year, sprinters are significantly less likely to factor in the final standings; this will be a day for the GC contenders, or perhaps a daring solo climber, to prove their grit.