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Cycling

Commentary: An instant classic on La Planche des Belles Filles


Thursday’s sixth stage of the Tour de France produced a classic battle, and helped further the mythology of the Tour’s newest great climb: La Planche des Belles Filles

Dylan Teuns will be now remembered as That Guy, the bloke who managed to reach the top of the dirt road of La Planche de Belles Filles first. He’ll be referenced for years to come and after what we witnessed at the end of stage 6, we can assume he’ll be referenced often.

The Tour has, to a certain extend, run to a formula for years.

We’ve come to know the sites of major conquests and understand what to expect at those places: Tourmalet, Aubisque, Galibier, Izoard, l’Alpe d’Huez. These are all fantastic climbs, each with many tales of exploits past. They are etched into cycling folklore and for good reason.

But there’s a new must-visit destination. When “La Planche’”— as it has already been nicknamed for convenience — is listed on future race routes, people will cheer.

They will remember today, the day Teuns won, when Giulio Ciccone took the yellow jersey, when Geraint Thomas showed he’s back with intent — and absolutely capable of defending his title.

Accommodation in the Vosges will be snapped up moments after the route unveiling in October and even bigger crowds will flock to this region of France.

Young fans of cycling of today will tell their grandchildren in years to come about where they were on the day the dirt road was first used to host a finish of the Tour de France. It will be talked about in a revered tone. And much of the discussion will center around that final kilometer, when the road went from horribly steep to are-you-kidding?