The penultimate stage of the 2013 Tour de France continues in the Alps tonight. We’ll have live updates from Stage 20 at 10.00pm AEST.
With tomorrow’s final stage the traditional stroll into Paris, tonight’s Stage 20 is the last chance for the likes of Contador, Quintana, Krueziger and Rodriguez to secure their place alongside Chris Froome on the podium at the Champs Elysees.
Froome has all but secured the title, as he holds a 5:11 advantage over Alberto Contador in second place.
That is of course barring what would have to be a disastrous crash in tonight’s stage, which could easily occur considering some of the treacherous descents present in tonight’s route.
But, due to the unlikelihood of that occurring, tonight’s stage will most likely be the final battle of the war that has ensued for second and third place in the General Classification, with this contest closer than ever.
Contador in second only holds a 47-second advantage over Joaquim Rodriguez in 5th, with the Katusha leader having every opportunity to overtake the two-time winner of this race tonight.
The stage features over 70km of categorised climbing, indicating the plenty of opportunities to attack.
The 125km journey from Amnecy to Amnecy – Semnoz concludes with an 11km Hors Category climb at an average gradient of 8.5 percent. The climb is a leg-burner, and the final test of this year’s Tour.
Expect the likes of climbing specialist Quintana and Rodriguez to attack on this climb if they haven’t already, with Contador content to follow the riders’ wheels to the finish in the knowledge that he will stay in second place.
It is being billed by cycling commentators as the battle of the best of the rest, with Froome of course the best.
However, the race for the final podium positions in the Ceneral Classification isn’t the only interesting thing in tonight’s race.
Chris Froome only holds a one-point advantage over Frenchman Pierre Rolland in the King of the Mountains classification prior to tonight.
However with Froome’s priority’s clearly resting with the maillot jaune, Rolland is favourite to grab the polka-dot jersey off the Sky team leader tonight.
Mikel Nieve Iturralde of Euskaldel-Euskadi also a strong chance to take the climbers classification, with the Spaniard only five points in arrears of Europcar rider, Rolland.
So join me tonight from 10.00pm AEST to see who will claim the tight King of the Mountains competition, but most importantly to witness the final battle of the best of the rest; discovering who will stand next to Chris Froome on the podium tomorrow night at the famous Champs Elysees.