Published: Wednesday, 22 July 2015 12:47
Written by Jamie Naragon
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!
Published: Wednesday, 22 July 2015 12:42
Written by Jamie Naragon
Tinkoff-Saxo lost valuable time on stage 17 of Tour de France to Pra Loup after a crash down the penultimate climb Col d’Allos cost team leader Alberto Contador two bike changes and 2’14” in the GC, while a malfunctioning radio prevented Rafal Majka from aiding his captain. “Right now the most important thing is to recover”, says Contador, who sits 5th in the GC. Simon Geschke took the stage win from the break.
A grand team strategy, where the squad positioned three outposts, was cut short after a crash stopped Alberto Contador in his tracks. Upon crossing the finish line atop Pra Loup with skin scrapes on his right side, Contador explains:
Read more: Crash on Col d’Allos disarms promising Tinkoff-Saxo strategy