Sunday, July 23, 2017

Tuesday, the riders head towards the Pyrenees with a 167kms route from Tarbes to La Pierre-Saint-Martin.  Hope the riders used the rest day well since the end of the route today will be a true test.



Yes, there is an intermediate sprint, this time occurring 124kms in in Trois-Villes, but this stage is all about the hills:

  • Km 66.0 - Côte de Bougarber1.4 kilometre-long climb at 6.2% - category 4
  • Km 90.0 - Côte de Vielleségure1.7 kilometre-long climb at 5.9% - category 4
  • Km 134.0 - Côte de Montory1.8 kilometre-long climb at 6.3% - category 4
  • Km 167.0 - LA PIERRE-SAINT-MARTIN (1 610 m)15.3 kilometre-long climb at 7.4% - category H

So the first 60kms or so of the stage are rolling, but the bigger climbs pop up from there.  And this transition could be tough for some.  The final climb, however, is the first HC in this year’s Tour.  It’s also the first time the Tour has finished on the climb and the first time the Tour has used it from the French side.  It’s supposed to be longer but less steep than the famous Alpe d’Huez.

Also, it’s Bastille Day—the French national holiday.  Winning a stage on Bastille Day is every French rider’s dream.  I don’t think it’s going to happen this year, though.  Froome and Nibali have been looking aggressive lately, so I’m wondering if one of them may try to make a statement.  Though more likely, most of the climb will be the GC riders marking each other until the closing kilometres. 

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