Stage 15 of the Tour de France is played out on a hilly route in Massif Central. At 189 kilometres, the riders race from Laissac-Sévérac l'Église to Le-Puy-en-Velay. A good day for attackers.
After leaving Laissac Sévérac l’Église the riders head for the Massif Central. Sounds massive, but the climbs that are on the agenda are really nothing to be worried about.
Things change slightly when approaching the finish line. With around 40 kilometres remaining the Col de Peyra Taillade looms, an 8.3 kilometres ascent at 7.4%. The first 4 kilometres are doable with an average gradient of 6%. But then the steepness steps in with slopes of up to 14%. In the last kilometre the climb flattens out.
The pass lies at an elevation of 1,190 metres and after cresting the route travels steadily down, with two minor hick-ups – Côte de Saint-Vidal and a small uphill section in Polignac. That last hill is on the menu with 5 kilometres to go.
Today it’s the fourth time the Tour de France arrives in Le Puy-en-Velay. The victor will step in the shoes of Giuseppe Guerini (2005), Pascal Richard (1996) and Dominique Forlini (1954).
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses at 10, 6 and 4 seconds.