Stage 9 during the Tour de France 2018 was a race day to remember. The ride included 22 cobbled sections, the weather was hot and dry, and there were more incidents than the race commentators could deal with. It made for mayhem in the peloton, dust-eating riders, crashes, and surprisingly little change in the GC rankings among the serious contenders. Luckily for us fans however, the cameras and smartphones were rolling behind the scenes at Team Sunweb.
The Day on the Cobbles
The day of the final of the World Cup football, which France won, was also the day the Tour de France followed sections of the legendary one-day classic Paris-Roubaix. That race, also known as the Hell of the North, is renowned for its toughness. And although the Tour did not traverse all the cobbled sections of Paris-Roubaix, there was certainly a serious amount of racing action.
Team Sunweb riders used different bikes for Stage 9. In this video the bike mechanics explain the essential difference between normal road bikes and the Giant Defy machines they used on the cobbles near Roubaix.
While the riders may have enjoyed a relatively restful day-off on the Monday (the first rest day in the Tour), the teams had to work double-time getting prepared for the switch to the Alps and the mountain stages. Plus a lot of cleaning had to be done due to dirt thrown up during the Paris-Roubaix stage. As ever, the Team Sunweb vloggers were on point giving us the inside story.