220 km from Nîmes to Carcassonne, from Gard to Aude with several hooks via the Herault. This 13th stage is the second longest on the program this year. A priori, no danger for Tadej Pogacar’s yellow jersey on this route which only includes one difficulty: the Pic Saint-Loup hill (Hérault), 4th category. Otherwise, it’s all flat! Thus, for the stage victory, if the backpackers do not take the initiative, the matter will be settled in a sprint, at the foot of the towers of the City.
From Nîmes to Carcassonne, the 13th stage now crosses the South of France on a 219.9-kilometer plain course that links the ancient arenas to the medieval city, two renowned tourist sites. A single hill classified in fourth category, at the foot of the Saint-Loup peak (Km 51.5), appears on the route in the hinterland although other small bumps are to be borrowed in the vineyards of Minervois, on the borders of Hérault and Aude, before arrival.
“If it’s blowing, the wind could make this stage, very quiet on paper, particularly stressful,” warns race director Thierry Gouvenou. “The length of the course provides an opportunity to go to the end for the breakaways if the sprinter teams are unable to control the race.”
City stage for the 11th time in the history of the Tour, Carcassonne (47,000 inhabitants) has become accustomed to hosting the event in the 21st century (6th time since 2004). The Danish Magnus Cort Nielsen, who had beaten the Spaniard Ion Izagirre, is the last winner, in 2018, in the Aude prefecture. Departure from Nîmes at 12:05 p.m. (launched at 12:15 p.m.), arrival in Carcassonne at 5:29 p.m. (time calculated as an average of 42 km / h).