Saturday, March 25, 2017

Stage 18 of the 2015 Tour de France is nothing but mountains the entire day of the 186.5kms from Gap to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.  Yes, there is still an intermediate sprint, this time at 107.5kms in Riouperoux, but there are 7 categorized climbs on the day!

 

 

  • Km 6.5 - Col Bayard (1 264 m)6.3 kilometre-long climb at 7% - category 2
  • Km 35.5 - Rampe du Motty2.3 kilometre-long climb at 8.3% - category 3
  • Km 60.5 - Côte de la Mure2.7 kilometre-long climb at 7.5% - category 3
  • Km 70.5 - Col de Malissol2 kilometre-long climb at 8.7% - category 3
  • Km 85.0 - Col de la Morte (1 368 m)3.1 kilometre-long climb at 8.4% - category 2
  • Km 147.0 - Col du Glandon (1 924 m)21.7 kilometre-long climb at 5.1% - category H
  • Km 176.5 - Lacets de Montvernier (782 m)3.4 kilometre-long climb at 8.2% - category 2

The descents around the Col du Glandon are tricky technically speaking,  and the Lacets de Montvernier is full of switchbacks, so not only will the legs have to be strong but so will the brains if riders are to make intelligent attacks.  They will need to be attentive the whole day.

This is also the only Alpine stage that doesn’t end with a summit finish, so an attacker on the final descent could nip off with victory far easier then when the GC guys punch the next couple of days.  This is also a big day for the KOM jersey, so anyone like Rodriguez or Majka who may seriously be nursing thoughts of this victory will probably be out in the attack early.  If Contador has any hopes of finishing on the podium in Paris, he will have to take every opportunity he can to make back time lost! 

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