2023 Tour de France Stage 10 Preview

Vulcania > Issoire 167km

It’s a classic Tour de France breakaway stage. The break should take some time to form, once it does, it will go all the way to the end. With 3151m of climbing, it should be a day for the classics riders in the bunch.


Very hot and there’s a chance of a storm around 1600. 

Key Points 

The stage starts with a cat 3 climb, 6.8km at 4%, perfect for a furious start from the likes of Van Aert and van der Poel. After that’s been dealt with, there’s not long before the next cat 3 climb, around 8km at 5%. By the end of this climb, the break should be formed, allowing the GC group to settle in for a second rest day. 

The finale of the race starts with 35km to go, when the riders climb a cat 3 climb of 6.3km at 5.7%. After that it’s most downhill to the finish.


The opening 30km are going to be explosive, everyone knows this is a day for the breakaway and with the next GC stage not coming until Friday, it’s a day where loyal domestiques will be allowed to attack and chase personal glory. Not only that, but those sitting just outside the top 10 have a chance of getting in the break and vaulting up the standings. It doesn’t matter how many bullets they use up, if they don’t make the break, they’ll still finish in the GC group due to the easy nature of the stage.

In a stage like this, teamwork makes the dreamwork. Teams that have multiple riders in the front group have a wonderful chance of taking the win, even against stronger opponents. It looks certain we’ll see Van Aert and van der Poel in the move, but winning from the break will be very hard for them. Think back to stage 7 in 2021, both were in the move, but a long-range attack from Mohorič took the win. When these two are in a break, everyone else looks at them to do more of the work. With great power comes great responsibility!

When this happens, it’s the perfect chance for others in the break to attack and get a sizeable gap. The terrain won’t help the big two either, there’s only the one categorised climb in the final 50km where they can make a big difference. Van Aert has been frustrated so far in this race, it’s just not clicked yet for him, but he’s more than likely to be the strongest man in the break, it’s all about striking early before the others put him under pressure

Back in the GC group, it’s time to get the cigars out and have an easy day. Of course, if a team misses the break, we could see a chase for some of the day, but I’d be amazed if the break doesn’t win.


Jumbo-Visma – all eyes will be on Van Aert, but Van Baarle, Laporte and Benoot are great cards to play in a stage like this. Van Baarle was in brilliant form winning the Dutch Road Race title, and he’s looked strong when working on the front in the opening week of this race. Tiesj has come close to winning a Tour stage before, this is a chance for him to tick off one of his big goals, and Laporte is as strong as an ox. Of course, Van Aert is a wonderful pick for this stage, but as I’ve explained, winning is complicated for him. He’d love to have a teammate in the move, that would make his life a lot easier. Obviously, they’ve got to keep men back to control the GC group, but I think Van Aert deserves some support.

Mathieu van der Poel – he’s impressed doing lead outs, but I don’t get the feeling he’s yet in top shape. That’s not a huge concern as he’s got the world championships as a big goal, I’d expect him to improve as the race goes on. This is a good stage for him, I think we’d all love to see him go toe-to-toe with his old foe.

Bahrain – Mohorič and Wright are excellent options for this stage. The day has a lot of descending, perfect for the Slovenian. Wright came into the race in great form, this should be the first time we see him properly test the legs. Both riders have a fast finish, that could be very important.

Lidl – Trek – Pedersen, Stuyven, Skjelmose and Ciccone will all have eyes on this one. After missing the break on Sunday, you can be sure they won’t make the same mistake twice. Of all their options, I like Pedersen the most. After taking a brilliant win on Saturday, he’ll be full of confidence.

EF – Bettiol and Cort should be their best cards to play. To be honest, I’ve not seen much from either man yet, but this is probably because they’ve been saving for the next few stages. On paper, this is a wonderful stage for Cort, he’ll start as one of the favourites.

Soudal – Quick Step – Alaphilippe has been looking lively, but he’s not at his best. Cavagna is a man who’ll have extra motivation, this stage takes place very close to home. As the stage doesn’t have any big climbs, it suits him very well, and he doesn’t mind taking risks and attacking early.

Prediction Time

The strongest team in the race is Jumbo-Visma, this is a great chance for them to show everyone just how strong they are by getting multiple riders in the front group.

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It’s not going to be easy, but I’ll take a win for Wout Van Aert, he’s going to start the second week with a bang.