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The weekend comes to a close and it will be another tough day in the Alps. Another mountain stage awaits.
Yesterday the top five looked like this:
1. Carlos Rodriguez 3hr 58min 45sec
2. Tadej Pogačar +5sec
3. Jonas Vingegaard +5sec
4. Adam Yates +10sec
5. Sebb Kuss +57sec
With today’s stage to follow and to conclude the Alps in this year’s Tour, we can be sure of some action.
Tour de France Stage 15 Preview and Map
The day before the second day of rest is the final day in the Alps. The course of 179 kilometres begins in Les Gets les Portes du Soleil, which is hosting the Tour for the first time to Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc at the foot of the Mont Blanc. In between the riders find an intermediate sprint after 72 kilometres at Bluffy and within 10 kilometres, they will be up on the Col de la Forclaz do Montmin, a category 1 climb with a length of 7,2 kilometres at a 7,3% gradient.
Five Climbs within 70 Kilometres – A Climb Fest
This was only the overture to a true climb fest as within the final 70 kilometres four major climbs await the riders. It begins with the Col de la Croix Fry an 11,3 kilometres long and 7% climb of the first category. Without a long descent to recover and replenish their bodies, the category 3 mountain the Col des Aravis with 4,4 kilometres to go up at a 5,8% average gradient presents itself on the map.
What follows is a plateau at a height of 1000 metres above sea level, before a drop to 600 to get to the entrance of the Côte des Amarands which, though short with only 2,7 kilometres, holds a feisty 10,9% gradient in store. Some sections even have 17% on this category 2 climb. There will be no let-off as immediately afterwards the final climb up to Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc follows. After the preceding climb, this will be a cruel 7 kilometres at an average of 7,7% to ride up towards the finish line.
The Overall and Mountain Classifications at the Start of the Day
There is certainly no need to add that this is the last chance for the top order of the peloton to cement their position in the top ten.
The Top Ten of the General Classification
1. J. Vingegaard 57:47:28
2. T. Pogačar + 10sec
3. C. Rodriguez + 4min 43sec
4. J. Hindley + 4min 44sec
5. A. Yates + 5mins 20sec
6. S. Kuss + 8min 15sec
7. S. Yates + 8min 32sec
8. P. Bilbao + 8min 51sec
9. F. Gall + 12min 26sec
10. D. Gaudu + 12min 56sec
The Top Five in the King of the Mountains
1. J. Vingegaard 54 pts
2. N. Powless 54 pts
3. T. Pogačar 48 pts
4. G. Ciccone 42 pts
5. F. Gall 32 pts
Once again, the chances for a breakaway group exist as the stage goes flat for most of the first hour or so before a non-categorised climb may offer some problems. However, will get serious afterwards with the climb fest of the day about to begin. Yesterday Vingegaard has shown that he can counter-attack while Pogačar appears to be keen to slice second by second off his rival’s lead. This may explain why he has not taken full action yet.
In terms of the stage win, today could be anyone’s guess. Riders whose teams have not shown up much, either in a breakaway or better even, with a stage win, may have a go from the beginning. 179 kilometres are long, very long with those climbs. It is down to the men with the best legs today.
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