2022 Tour de France Stage 10 Preview

Morzine > Megève 147.9km

We have a medium mountain stage that will interest many riders. As Wednesday and Thursday are big days in the high mountains, this is likely to be another day for the breakaway. The final climb isn’t hard, it’s highly unlikely we’ll see gaps between the GC riders, so there’s no incentive for GC teams to ride. Expect to see a big fight for the break, and then a calm day in the bunch.

Weather

Another hot and sunny day as temperatures continue to build.

Finale

21.5km at 4.1% doesn’t excite me, it’s a bit of a peculiar finish for the Tour de France. The climb does get a little harder near the crest, but it’s not hard for professional cyclists.

Tactics

The opening 20km is downhill, which makes it very hard for a break to establish. Then we have around 11km at 3.2%, before another downhill section, then another gradual uphill section. The break should form on one of the uphill sections, but it could well be the second one that starts after 46km of racing. 

If you’ve been watching the start of the recent stages, you’ll know just how hard it is to make the break. Riders only have a certain number of attempts in their legs, the stronger ones obviously have a few more matches than others. If it was me, I wouldn’t waste any of my attempts until the second climb, but this will look silly if the break goes at the start. This is the dilemma riders face, just when should they use up their matches? The best at this hang near the front, then have a sixth sense about when the move is about to form, that’s when they push it. We’ve also seen riders who go hell for leather in the opening 10km, then end up cooked and out the back door. Remember, this is not a computer game, making the break is a very difficult.

Once the break does go, it’s likely to be very big. The GC picture is now great for UAE, it’s unlikely the break features anyone close on GC. This means their domestiques can have a relatively easy day in the peloton, keeping the gap around the 7-minute mark, depending on who’s up the road. All the other GC teams will follow suit, they’ll relax in the bunch letting the legs waken up after the rest day, with two huge days to come.

The break will then be faced with a tactical battle to decide the winner of the stage. Those teams who manage to get multiple riders in the move will have a huge advantage. As the final climb isn’t the hardest, it’s all about using numbers to put pressure on your rivals. Get 2 or 3 riders in the break and you should win the stage, no matter which team you are.

Contenders

Bora – they have very strong options for this stage: Kämna, Konrad, Schachmann and Großschartner. Kämna came very close on Planche des Belles Filles, it was an astonishing ride. On Sunday, he was frustrated as it was clear when he tried to attack, everyone else followed. The final climb is ideal for someone like Schachmann, but he’s crashed a few times, so we’ll have to see how he’s recovered. I’ll be amazed if Bora don’t have a couple of men in the move.

QuickStep – Cattaneo and Honoré are the options for the Belgians. Both have been looking good in recent stages, attacking with lots of power in the early stages. The final climb is also one that suits both, but they could be outnumbered in the break.

Movistar – Izagirre, Jorgenson and Verona provide the Spaniards with lots of options. Verona went close on Sunday; he’s clearly maintained his form from the Dauphiné. The final climb is perfect for Jorgenson, if he makes the break, he’ll be one of the men to beat.

Bahrain – it’s been a disappointing Tour so far for the team. They were multiple drug raids before the race started, and since Denmark they’ve not been at their best. In a stage like this, I would expect to see lots of Teuns, Mohorič, Tratnik, Sánchez and Wright. Looking back at the first nine stages, their best riders have been Teuns and Wright, both have a good shot at this one. 

FDJ – the final climb doesn’t look hard enough for Pinot and Storer, it’s more suited to Madouas and Küng. 

EF – the final climb is great for both Bettiol and Cort, but I do wonder how much energy Cort has left, maybe the rest day will allow him to recover from his efforts in the first nine stages. 

Lotto Soudal – Wellens, Gilbert and Kron should be the boys for them, the stage is well suited to all. They haven’t got anything out of the race so far, they’ll look at this day as a big chance to open their account. 

Trek-Segafredo – another team with lots of options for a stage like this. They have Ciccone, Mollema, Gallopin, Simmons and Stuyven as potential winners. Stuyven is someone who might surprise considering the long climb up to the finish. Simmons has great legs just now, and he’s already shown that he can make the break.

Filippo Ganna – Ineos look like they are allowing some freedom to their domestiques, which is great to see. If Ganna gets up the road, he can use the final 20km as an uphill TT, that could frighten a few.

Simon Clarke – already with one stage in his pocket, he can ride with freedom, which makes him even more dangerous.

Michael Matthews – it’s not a perfect stage for him, but Matthews climbs very well for a fast man. I don’t think he’ll be easily dropped on the final climb.

Prediction Time

He might have crashed a few times, but I’ll be taking a win for Max Schachmann, the stage is perfect for him.

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