Tour de France Stage 13 Preview, Map, and Distance

Tour de France Stage 13 Preview, Map, and Distance
Danish Jonas Vingegaard of Jumbo-Visma; BELGA PHOTO JASPER JACOBS - Photo by Icon Sport

It is July 14th, the French national holiday, Bastille Day. The country comes to a standstill to celebrate its history. The Tour de France 2023 does not enjoy such a privilege.

Instead, the riders will face a stiff test – the first in the Alps – today as they tackle the Grand Colombier at the end of the stage.

Stage 12 Recap and Results

The stage yesterday saw another win for Team Cofidis – they have already two this year and have ended a draught that lasted 15 years! The top ten of yesterday’s stage looks as follows:

Final Stage 12 Results and Standings

  1. Ion Izagirre 3hr 51min 42sec
  2. Mathieu Burgaudeau +58sec
  3. Matteo Jorgenson +58sec
  4. Tiesj Benoot +1min 06sec
  5. Tobias Halland Johannessen +1min 11sec
  6. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +1min 13secs
  7. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) Same time
  8. Dylan Teuns (Israel-Premier Tech) +1min 27secs
  9. Ruben Guerreiro (Movistar) Same time
  10. Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Dstny) +3mins 02secs

Tour de France Stage 13 Preview and Map

The start of the stage is in Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne, a first for this town of roughly 5000 inhabitants. Though it is not entirely new to cycling as it has already hosted Paris-Nizza and the Critérium du Dauphiné, two very prestigious races. The finish will be at the top of the Grand Colombier pass at an altitude of 1501 metres above sea level. The stage is short but there will be drama and tension on that last climb.

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Image captured from the official Tour de France website

Image captured from the official Tour de France website

It was only added to the collection of passes relatively recently. It was first climbed in 2012. Back then, it was Thomas Voeckler who was first on top of the mountain. So far, the Grand Colombier has always crowned the future winner of the polka dot jersey. Before it comes to the final ascent, there is an intermediate sprint at 87,3 kilometres and we may see the sprinters for the last time in the limelight for the day. Afterwards there comes a long descent, a stretch of flat before the moment of truth: the ascent to the Grand Colombier with a length of 17,4 kilometres at an average gradient of 7,1% – a climb of the highest category.

The Contenders

Such a climb at the end of the day will see the favourites for the yellow jersey battle it out among them. So, there will be an attack by Tadej Pogačar on his rival Jonas Vingegaard to take time off his lead, that much is sure.

The question is what will it look like? Will it be an outright attack at the bottom of the Colombier or during the climb? Maybe even a late surge within the final kilometre? The latter may a viable option as each place in the finish means a certain time bonus. If Pogačar thus jumps away from Vingegaard during the last 500 metres or so and takes several seconds off him, the gap will be even narrower with the time bonus added. That way Vingegaard may retain the yellow jersey another day but he will be left out to dry while Pogačar slowly encroaches the top spot.

On the other side, how will Vingegaard approach this stage? Will he attack from the front, risking to spend his energy early on in the Alps? How will he respond to Pogačar’s attack? Vingegaard often seems reliant on his team mates, while his Slovenian rival is happy going it all alone.

There may be other riders trying to benefit from this stalemate and who feel strong and confident to attack and to sustain it over a long period of uphill cycling. Other factors such as the weather may be decisive, too. If it’s hot, it will cost riders far more energy throughout the entire stage, leaving them vulnerable to attacks.

General Classification Standings After Stage 12

  1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 50hr 30min 23sec
  2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates) +17sec
  3. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) +2min 40sec
  4. Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers) +4min 22sec
  5. Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) +4min 34sec
  6. Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) +4mins 39secs
  7. Simon Yates (Team Jayco-Alula) +4mins 44secs
  8. Thomas Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) +5mins 26secs
  9. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +6mins 01secs
  10. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +6mins 33secs

This classification will look differently at the end of this stage. The names may remain but their order may have shuffled. It is difficult to predict a winner. The ascent is too long, the stage short. This may play out as another hectic first half as we have seen in the past days.

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