Tadej Pogacar takes over the yellow jersey of the Tour de France before the mountains. The competition now has to put more pressure on the Slovenian in order to have a chance.

The first mountain finish of the 109th Tour de France has it all. The Super Planche des Belles Filles in the Vosges has steep climbs at the end.

Overall leader Tadej Pogacar wants to win the 176.3-kilometer stage that starts in Tomblaine: “Of course I want to win there. It’s a special climb for me.”

Gravel on the ski slope

The final climb is only seven kilometers long, but it’s tough. On the one hand, the steepest sections with 20 and 24 percent come at the very end. And to make things a little more difficult, the entire driveway, which is actually designed as a ski slope, has not been paved. So the pros have to struggle over a few meters of gravel.

Urska at the finish line

The ascent to the Planche is special for Tadej Pogacar anyway. In 2020 he won the Tour de France there with a stage win on the penultimate day. And this time, too, the motivation should fit. “My girlfriend will be at the finish line and my parents will be there too,” said Pogacar. Girlfriend Urska Zigart is also a professional cyclist.

Chance for Kämna

At this year’s Giro d’Italia, Lennard Kämna won the first mountain finish. The 25-year-old could pull off a similar coup on the tour. His Bora-hansgrohe team wants to send a rider into a breakaway group, and Kämna is predestined for this with his qualities on the mountain. Most sports directors also expect a group to pull through.