2017 Tour de France: Stage 13 preview

Brendon Vella Roar Guru

By Brendon Vella, Brendon Vella is a Roar Guru


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    Romain Bardet is among the favourites on Stage 17 of the Tour de France. (Team Sky)

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    The second day in the Pyrenees is the shortest road stage of the race, at just over 101 kilometres. Don’t be fooled though, it includes three Category 1 climbs, which should see an aggressive Stage 13.

    Starting in the town of Saint-Girons, the first 25 kilometres gradually rise, before the first climb of the day. Incorporated into the first quarter of the stage is the intermediate sprint in the town of Seix, after 13.5 kilometres of racing.

    It is all but assured that Marcel Kittel (Quick Step Floors) will take the green jersey at the end of the race, however Michael Matthews still has a glimmer of hope in that competition.

    The first climb of the day starts just after 25 kilometres, with the Col de Latrape. The Category 1 climb is 5.6 kilometres long at an average gradient of 7.3 per cent, with the steepest gradients of 11.5 per cent.

    It is then a short descent before the longest climb of the stage, the Col d Agnes, with just over 60 kilometres to go. The ten kilometre climb averages 8.2 per cent, with gradients of above 13 per cent.

    A technical descent follows, which could see a team like AG2R attack on the descent, similar to what they did on Stage 9. There is no question that Romain Bardet is by far the best descender out of the general classification contenders.

    The final climb starts with 35 kilometres to go. Yes, it is not a summit finish today; which seems crazy as the final climb of the Mur de Peguere is absolutely brutal.

    While the climb is only 9.3 kilometres at an average gradient of 7.9 per cent, with the final three kilometres averaging over 11.5 per cent, there are gradients of 18 per cent with two kilometres from the top of the climb.

    Again, crazy that this is not the finishing climb.

    The last 27 kilometres consist of a flowing descent, which may not offer the opportunity for an attack.

    Today on paper looks like a stage which Team Sky should be able to control, but this Tour has been full of the unexpected. Expect the opportunists to try their hand and go for the stage win.

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    The Crowd Says (3)

    • July 14th 2017 @ 1:04pm
      Alistair Nitz said | July 14th 2017 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

      Fabio Aru claiming the yellow jersey was the best thing possible for Le Tour. It might suddenly boost the interest level, which could be best described as dull and boring until last night. Watching Team Skybots attacking to try to reclaim the jersey and Astana trying to defend the yellow jersey will be exciting to watch. That said, Froome’s tactics may be just wait to the next TT stage to reclaim the yellow jersey and the race will continue to be a yawn fest.

      I have to admit, the Giro was 10 times more interesting than Le Tour at the halfway mark. And it only got more interesting as each stage went by.

    • Roar Guru

      July 14th 2017 @ 1:31pm
      Scott Pryde said | July 14th 2017 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

      Aru needs more time before the TT, and tonight is a great chance to get it. Based on the Dauphine and the way Froome was swerving all over the road in the last 200 metres of Stage 12, there is every chance Aru attacks, takes Bardet with him and they can pick up more time.

    • July 14th 2017 @ 9:07pm
      Eddie said | July 14th 2017 @ 9:07pm | ! Report

      The rest need to attack. Froome is way from his best this year and the route doesn’t suite him. They will never have a better chance to beat him.

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