The Tour enters the Alps on Stage 17 with a 161kms mountainous route from Digne-les-Bains to Pra Loup.  With five climbs in store, I hope the riders make the most of their rest day!

 

 

A break should get away relatively early and stay out for most of the early KOM points as well as the intermediate sprint that occurs at 110kms in Beauvezer.  The fourth climb for the day, however, the Col d’Allos, is where we could see a battle for GC begin:

  • Km 40.0 - Col des Lèques6 kilometre-long climb at 5.3% - category 3
  • Km 67.0 - Col de Toutes Aures6.1 kilometre-long climb at 3.1% - category 3
  • Km 96.0 - Col de la Colle-Saint-Michel (1 431 m)11 kilometre-long climb at 5.2% - category 2
  • Km 139.0 - Col d'Allos ( 2 250 m)14 kilometre-long climb at 5.5% - category 1
  • Km 161.0 - PRA LOUP (1 620 m)6.2 kilometre-long climb at 6.5% - category 2

The descent from Allos is tricky, and this can be complicated further if the heat has melted the road as it infamously did in the 1975 Tour that witnessed Bernard Thevenet using this to his advantage, taking yellow from five-time champion Eddy Merckx. 

Many are also asserting that this is the “easiest” of the upcoming four days in the Alps.  So, if anyone is hoping to break Froome and his fierce Team Sky, today is the day to start laying that foundation.