After two weeks of racing, the 54-kilometre race of truth in Albi will make another important selection towards determining who will win the 2007 Tour de France.
A twisty, tricky out and back time test, stage 13 could prove unlucky for riders who are not competent time trialists. The first 20 kilometres are a gradual uphill, then the course is downhill and flat until the 34-kilometre point, where the four-kilometre climb up the sinuous Cat. 4 Côte de la Bauzié awaits. Then there is a difficult descent and return to Albi on the D999 road where an experienced tester can make a difference.
Look for a major battle between Discovery Channel's Levi Leipheimer, Astana's Andreas Klöden on the baking roads of the Albigeois, with CSC's Carlos Sastre and Caisse d'Epargne's Alejandro Valverde trying not to lose too much time to the experts against the watch.
Km 38.5: Côte de la Bauzié: 4km climb @ 3.4 % grade / 4th Cat.
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