Tour de France 2018

Stage 6 Overview

Brest to Mûr de Bretagne Guerlédan

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Stage Summary

Stage 6 starts in Brest and finishes 181 km later in Mûr de Bretagne, a town whose name translates roughly to the “Wall of Brittany”. Riders will make two punishing trips up the town’s namesake Category 3 climb, all in the 16 km before the finish. Watch for General Classification (GC) contenders to show their form … or possibly their lack thereof.


Today the GC contenders began to shine, even during the tough, windy conditions, while a few riders including Mitchelton Scott GreenEdge’s Jack Bauer made a name for themselves through aggressive attacks during the final sprint. In the end, Irishman Dan Martin (UAD) would claim his first victory of this year’s Tour, becoming one of only three countrymen to have claimed two or more wins at the Tour de France. Pierre Latour (ALM) finished a second behind, followed by Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) to round out the podium.


Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) holds his position at the top of the GC leaderboard, however Rigoberto Urán made some big moves today, gaining 45 seconds and climbing up to seventh.


Stage Analysis From Best Bike Split

While there may be a break group that can hold on, the prevailing headwind in the area could easily pull them back in if they aren’t willing to work. The main focus of the stage will come down to the final 20 km where riders will twice ascend the Cat 3 climb Mûr de Bretagne. While the climb is only 2 km at an average grade of 6.9 percent there are steeper sections over the first half of the climb.


GC riders will be eyeing each others fitness on this climb and someone may try to make an early statement by attacking on the first pass up the climb and pushing the descent before the final climb back up to the finish.


To give some perspective on the type of numbers riders might climb these types of grades we can look at data we have seen from the Giro. Maybe longer climbs were sustained at around 395-410 watts for a rider of Tom Dumoulin’s (Sunweb) size (70 kg). That would equate to a roughly five minute climb over the 2 km. If we were to adjust the weight down to a Chris Froome (Team Sky) or further to a  Nairo Quintana (Movistar) size, you are looking at 370 and 360 watts respectively. Watts/kg however would be lower for Domoulin versus Quintana, but at these gradients (and most seen at climbs in the Tour), there is a balance between watts/kg and Functional Threshold Power (FTP) that starts to favor a rider like Froome who can over power a smaller rider and out power to weight riders with a higher FTP.

Click on the predictive race plan below to see how key factors might affect the results from this stage.

BBS Analysis Tool

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