On stage 10 of the Tour the France, the riders face the first day in the high mountains. The Alps form the enchanting backdrop of a 158.5 kilometres long race from Annecy to Le Grand-Bornand. Five intermediate climbs, partly on a steep gravel road, before a 13 kilometres drop leads to a false flat run-in to the line.
The opening of the race is basically played out on the flat. Some minor slopes, but that’s it. The first KOM-points are up for grabs on Col de Bluffy, an 1.5 kilometres climb at 5.6%, that’s crested at kilometre 19. The route continues like it did before the first proper climb takes the shape of the Col de la Croix Fry. After approximately 30 kilometres the 11.3 kilometers climb at 7% looms. The second half of the Croix Fry is steeper than the first and after the passage over the top a 20 kilometres descent leads to the foot of the Montée du Plateau des Glières. It’s a 6 kilometres torture at 11.2% with an extra masochistic element in the last 2 kilometres, as this sector climbs on a dust road. As a reward another long descent welcomes the rider.
Following a modest in-between climb – Col des Fleuries – the riders enter the calm before the storm for slightly over 20 kilometres. On flat roads the route heads for the last two ascents. Firstly Col de Romme, an 8.8 kilometres climb that is averaging 8.9%. After the crest the route continues for 2 kilometres on a false flat before a 4 kilometres descent drops down to the base of today’s last obstacle. Col de la Colombière is a 7.5 kilometres climb with an average gradient of 8.5%. The ensuing descent into Le Grand Bornand is 13 kilometres, while the run-in to the line is a false flat of 1.5 kilometres.
In 2013 Le Grand-Bornand hosted its last arrival of the Tour de France. Back then, the 19th stage finished in the ski resort after a 2.5 kilometres descent from the summit of the Col de la Croix Fry. Rui Costa took the win solo, while Andreas Klöden and Jan Bakelants came in second and third.
The first three riders on the line win time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds. The intermediate sprint (at kilometre 29) does not come with a time bonus, it’s a sprint for green jersey points.
The 10th stage of the 2018 Tour de France starts at 13:35 and the finish is expected around 17:57 – both local times (scheduled times).