Watch: Footage gives a glimpse of the mountain-top gravel road that riders will face at 2018 Tour de France
Two kilometres of gravel on the Plateau des Glières could catch a few riders out
If the 15 sectors of pavé that the organisers of the Tour de France have crammed into stage nine of the 2018 Tour route, then the following stage will give any puncture-prone riders something else to worry about.
In a move that the Tour’s Twitter account described as going “back to the origins” stage 10 will see the riders take on two kilometres of gravel road, midway through a tough mountain stage.
The section of road is on the Plateau des Glières, and will cruelly come just after the riders finish a six kilometre climb averaging more than 11 per cent, potentially giving riders extra incentive to push on before the descent (on tarmacked road) at the end of the gravel section.
In the video, the gravel road looks relatively free of potholes, although because this is a public road that is used by vehicles, there do seem to be builds ups of gravel in the middle and at the sides of the road, which could potentially catch a few riders out.
The only bad news is that this section of road will come with more than 90km remaining in the stage, so the general classification contenders are unlikely to use it to force any splits.