The peloton embark on one of the most explosive stages in Tour de France history, with three huge climbs across just 65 kilometres. Join The Roar for live race updates and coverage from 11:15pm (AEST).
It’ll be on from the gun, with today marked as the key day to finally release the shackles and – just maybe – crack Team Sky.
The British squad have dominated the mountains so far, but maybe not quite in the way expected.
Heading into Stage 17, it’s Geraint Thomas holding the yellow jersey by one minute and 39 seconds to teammate Chris Froome, who is gunning for a fourth straight yellow in Paris.
Their dynamic will be an intriguing one across the closing days of the race, but they haven’t got it all their own way, with the best time trialist in the world, Tom Dumoulin, sitting just 11 seconds behind Froome.
With around two hours of racing, there will be no holding back today, with only one more mountain stage and the aforementioned time trial on the penultimate day to come.
Starting out in Bagnères-de-Luchon, the race will go straight up the Col de Peyresourde, then summit the Category 1 Montee de Peyragudes after just 15 kilometres.
A descent and intermediate sprint follow on virtually the only flat metres of the day, before the Category 1 Col de Val Louron-Azet. A 7.4-kilometre climb at an average of over eight per cent gradient, it should split the race entirely with just 28 kilometres to go from the top.
From there, it’s another short descent, then the Col du Portet, an hors categorie climb which might just be the toughest of the Tour.
The stats are enough to make the eyes water, with 16 kilometres at 8.7 per cent and ramps well into the double digits, including during the final kilometre.
It’ll be brutal, and early attacks could well be rewarded, with Sky more than likely having to pick and choose who they mark. Simply put, burn up on the first two climbs and Froome or Thomas could be left to their own devices on the final.
As such, riders like Romain Bardet (3:21 behind), Nairo Quintana (4:23), Jakob Fuglsang (6:14) or Daniel Martin (6:54) may attack on the first or even second climb to try blow the race to smithereens.
It’s just about impossible to work out what happens here.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of Stage 17 at the Tour de France from 11:15pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.