Sports The Alps take center stage in the Tour de France

The Alps take center stage in the Tour de France

Archive – Valloire- 07-25-2019, cycling, Stage 18, etappe 18, Embrun – Valloire, the GC riders on the Galibier – George Deswijzen/PRO SHOTS/A/AFP7/Europapress

The second week of the Tour de France is clearly marked by the great passes of the French Alps, with key ascents to the Col du Granon or the mythical Alpe d’Huez in the battle for the general lead by the two-time reigning champion Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates).

After the rest day in Morzine, the Tour returns with a vengeance, with two high-mountain stages on Wednesday and Thursday and before that, on Tuesday’s stage 10, a good appetizer to warm up the legs.

Starting from Morzine Les Portes du Soleil and arriving in Megève after 148.1 kilometres, the tenth stage winds its way through valleys to reach Megève and tackle the final climb to the slopes, with 19.3 kilometers at an average gradient of 4 per cent. A flat climb, without large ramps, where you can avoid a collapse after the break before reaching the top of the pass, just like in the Dauphiné 2020.

In stage 11 things get worse, or better depending on how you look at it, in the 151.7 kilometers between Albertville and the Col du Granon, in Serre Chevalier. A day to mark in red. The peloton will have to climb two Tour de France landmarks such as Col du Télégraphe (1st, 11.9 kilometers at 7.1 percent) and Col du Galibier (HC, 17.7 kilometers at 6.9 percent).

After the descent of the Galibier, in Saint-Chaffrey and after overcoming Serre-Chevalier, there will be 11.3 kilometers of ascent left at an average drop of 9.2 percent –with long ramps above double digits– until reaching the 2,413 meter high Col du Granon, which for 25 years was the highest finish line on the Tour.

Without rest, stage 12 will start from Briançon and reach the Alpe d’Huez after 165.1 kilometres, in a “nod to the history” of the Tour, as it is a replica of the Briançon-Alpe d’Huez stage in 1986 .

Thus, the Galibier will be climbed again –as in the previous stage–, it will go through the Col du Télégraphe to go to the Col de la Croix de Fer (HC, with its long 29 kilometers at 5.2 percent) and face the historic 21 curves of the Alpe d’Huez to the Isère station. Some curves and ramps where the Tour could be already quite faced.

In stage 13, after the alpine triptych, tranquility for the applicants for the general classification and a new option for the stage chasers or the sprinters. There will be three mountain passes, but in general the 192.6 kilometers will be flatter than uphill and, after leaving Le Bourg d’Oisans, the finish line in Saint-Étienne could see a sprint.

The next day, the same city will start stage 14, ending in Mende after 192.5 kilometres. A leg-breaking route stage, with up to five ports and a demanding finale with the Jalabert de la Croix Neuve Climb, with 3 kilometers at 10.2 percent on average just before the brief descent to the finish line in Mende.

Stage 15 (Rodez-Carcassonne, 202.5 kilometres) will put an end to this second week of competition on Sunday 17, on another day in which a fight is expected between the possible breakaway and the peloton, which will seek a new finish with the arrival massive in the beautiful and historic city of Carcassonne.

Source: Europa Press

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