Stage 9 of the Tour de France 2022 is a 193km mountain stage. It starts from Aigle in Switzerland, and does a loop in the Vaud, Fribourg and Valais cantons, taking in Montreux and Gruyères. The first two climbs are in Switzerland, and the third, the Pas de Morgins, is a col that takes the peloton from Switzerland to France. The finish line is in the ski resort of Châtel.
|Date||Sunday 10th July 2022|
|Climbs||Cote de Bellevue (Cat. 4)
Col des Mosses (Cat. 2)
Col de la Croix (Cat. 1)
Pas de Morgins (Cat. 1)
There's an annoying video map of Stage 9:
Profile of Stage 9 Tour de France 2022:
|Caravan||Fast Schedule||Slow Schedule|
|Start Time (départ fictif)||1030||1230||1230|
|Start Time (départ réel)||1045||1045||1045|
|Intermediate Sprint (56.5km)||1212||1404||1412|
|Penultimate Climb at Col de la Croix (131.8km)||1423||1600||1623|
|Finish Line (192.9km)||1602
Stage 9 starts in Aigle.
Aigle is in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, in the canton of Vaud. It's in the Rhône valley (Wikipedia).
Aigle was on the Roman road to the Great Saint Bernard Pass. The Romans called the place Aquilas (eagles). The first Medieval mention of Aigle is in 1150, under the name Alium.
The Dukes of Savoy owned Aigle in the 1200s and 1300s, then it belonged to Bern from the 1400s. It was part of the canton of Léman during the Helvetic Republic at the end of the 1700s (the French Revolutionary Wars), then joined the canton of Vaud.
According to My Switzerland, three attractions of Aigle are the Wine Museum, the Château (which houses the Wine Museum), and the Cycling Centre.
The vines here are part of the Chablais AOC. The wines are crisp, steely whites made from Chasselas grapes, as well as reds from Pinot Noir or Gamay.
The Château d'Aigle is on the site of a small fortification built by the Barons of Aigle around 1179. The castle was rebuilt and expanded in the late 1200s; that's when the curtain wall was put up. Bern attacked and damaged the castle, then rebuilt it in 1488.
The castle has been a museum since 1976.
The World Cycling Centre in Aigle was built in 2002 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the UCI. It has an indoor velodrome and a BMX track.
The Rhône valley at Aigle is beautiful.
The riders head down river to Lac Léman. They soon pass the acutely picturesque lakeside Château de Chillon.
As Adam Yates pedals past the castle, it's almost certain that he'll be reciting The Prisoner of Chillon to the rest of the peloton.
There are seven pillars of Gothic mould,
In Chillon's dungeons deep and old,
There are seven columns, massy and grey
A sunbeam which hath lost its way...
And in each pillar there is a ring,
And in each ring there is a chain;
That iron is a cankering thing,
For in these limbs its teeth remain
The Prisoner of Chillon, by Lord Byron
Next along the lakeside is Montreux.
Montreux was an important settlement in Roman times. In the Middle Ages, it belonged to the House of Savoy, then to Bern. In 1798 it became part of the Helvetic Republic.
It was in the 1800s that Montreux developed as a tourist destination for wealthy Europeans and Americans.
Montreux has held a jazz festival since 1967. The Golden Rose Festival is an international television awards event held in Montreux.
Deep Purple wrote Smoke on the Water in Montreux, describing how a Frank Zappa fan with a flare gun set Montreux Casino on fire, and the band then had to record their album somewhere else.
After Montreux, the riders pass through Vevey, the original headquarters of Nestlé.
Charlie Chaplin was expelled from the USA in 1952 at the height of the McCarthy era, and settled in Switzerland, where he spent the last 25 years of his life. There's now a museum dedicated to Chaplin in his former home, the Manoir de Ban at Corsier-sur-Vevey.
A little further along the lake shore, at Cully, the route turns away from Lac Léman, climbing the route du Vignoble (vineyards road) towards Chexbres. This is the first categorised climb, the Côte de Bellevue (Category 4). It's 4.3km at 4%, and reaches 570m at the top with 37.1km ridden.
Auguste Piccard lived at Chexbres. He was a physicist and aeronaut, and a specialist in balloon flights; he inspired Hergé to create the character of Professor Calculus in the Adventures of Tintin.
The road continues to rise to Chardonne and Châtel-Saint-Denis (810m), and Semsales (867m), where the intermediate sprint takes place.
Now the race route curves east to Bulle.
Bulle is near the Lac de la Gruyère, which is an artificial lake on the course of the river Sarine. It passes close to Gruyères too.
Gruyères was home to the Counts of Gruyères, who had a castle there from the 1200s, built on the 'Savoy square' military model.
Gruyère is a famous cheese comes from this region of the Fribourg canton. It can be made in neighbouring cantons too, and yearly production is 30,000 tonnes.
The race route follows the course of the Sarine to Villars-sous-Mont and Montbovon. It crosses from the canton of Fribourg to the Vaud, passes the Lac du Vernex, and goes through Rossinière (908m).
This is a mountainous area called the Parc naturel régional Gruyère Pays-d'Enhaut.
From Rossinière (908m) the riders climb to the ski area at Les Mosses. This is a Category 2 climb, le Col des Mosses (1,445m). It's 13.3km at an average 4.1%.
There's then a descent to Le Sépey and Les Diablerets (1,147m), and
Soon after Les Diablerets the riders begin the ascent of the Col de la Croix (1,778m). It's 8.1km at an average 7.6%, and it's Category 1.
From the Col de la Croix, there's a long descent via Villars-sur-Ollon to Aigle (394m). The riders are then back where they started, on the flat Rhône valley floor. The parcours remains flat as far as Monthey.
From Monthey, the climb of the Pas de Morgins begins. It's already steeply uphill to Troistorrents, but after Troistorrents there's a series of six hairpin bends, then a straight but steep road to Morgins.
The gradient eases just before the summit of the Pas de Morgins at 1,377m.
This climb is 15.4km at an average 6.1%, which makes it Category 1.
From the top of the Pas de Morgins it's downhill to the village of Châtel, but the final stretch to the finish line at Châtel's Bike Park and Piste de Luge is uphill once again.
The rider who wins today will of course need to be able to climb well, but Christian Prudhomme's assumption is that the winner may well come from a breakaway; the GC contenders could be keeping their powder dry for a harder day later in the race.
This is a Sunday, the day before a rest day, which could rather throw into doubt the idea that the winner will come from a breakaway - because if you're going for the GC and you have a rest the next day, why not go for it? But let's assume that Prudhomme is correct and consider possible winners from a breakaway.
It could be a day for Nairo Quintana if he has lost time by this point. Kenny Elissonde might be in with a shout, as could his Trek Segafredo teammate Bauke Mollema. Lennard Kämna could pull a big performance out of the bag if he's not on team duty. Finally, how about Jakob Fuglsang of Israel Premier Tech?
Who do you think will win Stage 9?
Rough Guide to Switzerland.
Price £5.99 from Amazon as at 22nd February 2022.
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