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Tour de France 2019: Stage 8 Route, Live Stream and TV Coverage

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2019

Cyclsim enthusiasts applaud cyclists crossing a square of Arbois, eastern France, during the seventh stage of the 106th edition of the Tour de France cycling race between Belfort and Chalon-sur-Saone, on July 12, 2019. (Photo by Marco Bertorello / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
MARCO BERTORELLO/Getty Images

The Tour de France peloton will make its way to the city of Saint-Etienne on Saturday during Stage 8, a 200-kilometre ride that should serve up plenty of entertainment.

After Friday's bunch sprint in Chalon-sur-Saone, Saturday's ride promises to be far more thrilling. The hilly profile is perfectly suited for breakaway riders and the classic punchers alike, while the final climb of the Cote de la Jailliere may even throw up one or two surprises in the race for yellow.

The top contenders are likely to stay quiet to conserve energy for the high mountains. But just about everyone near the top of the general classification could push their chips forward on Saturday, hoping for some time in the yellow jersey.

Here is a look at the route and stage profile:

The stage will start in Macon and finish in Saint-Etienne. There will be no fewer than seven categorised climbs along the way, although none will be tougher than second category. There will be bonus seconds on offer on the final climb, an interesting twist for the GC:

CafeRoubaix @CafeRoubaix

Tour de France will offer this year bonus seconds (8-5-2) to the first three riders on the following climbs: Cote de Mutigny, Col des Chevreres, Cote de la Jailliere, Cote de Saint-Just, Horquette d'Ancizan, Mur de Peguere, Col du Galibier, Col de l'Iseran.

Viewers from the UK can watch the stage via Eurosport 1 and ITV 4, with live-streaming options available via Eurosport Player and ITV Hub. American cycling fans can watch via NBC and its NBC Sports Live service.

There are two keys to this stage. The first is that the seven climbs don't appear to offer the potential for massive time gaps. Even the shorter hills with narrow, twisty roads aren't particularly daunting, and while riders could lose time if they have a bad day, no one is going to run away from the rest of the field on Saturday.

That means the top contenders―Geraint Thomas, Nairo Quintana and the likes―are likely to stay close to each other rather than risk all-out attacks ahead of the high mountains. With the Alps and Pyrenees still to come, it's far safer to save energy for those challenges.

Cyclism enthusiasts applaud cyclists passing during the seventh stage of the 106th edition of the Tour de France cycling race between Belfort and Chalon-sur-Saone, on July 12, 2019. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)        (Photo credit should rea
ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/Getty Images

The second key is the timing. With Sunday being Bastille Day, some French riders may opt to save their energy for that stage, which offers a similar challenge. Winning on the national holiday is one of the biggest honours in French cycling.

One man to keep an eye on will be Julian Alaphilippe, who sits just six seconds behind yellow jersey Giulio Ciccone. Expect him to do whatever he can to regain the yellow ahead of Bastille Day.

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