The champion emerges
The rider who wins on Alpe-d'Huez often goes on to win in Paris, as Carlos Sastre underlined in 2008. With just two stages to follow, this could turn into a 109.5km mountain sprint. There is little chance to warm up before the course reaches the 34km ascent comprising the Télégraphe and the epic north face of the Galibier. There are sure to be some breaks, with riders hoping they can defend their advantage on the long descent into Bourg d'oisans and onto the first ramps of the alpe, where the winner will climb into Tour history.
Distance: 109.5 km
Highest point: 2,556m
Category: High mountains
Sean Yates says...
"The Alpe d'Huez may be legendary, but it's actually not that hard. I expect Schleck and Contador to be head and shoulders above the rest. Hopefully for Sky, Brad Wiggins and Rigoberto Uran should be well placed on GC two days from the end."
Matt White says...
"Expect an aggressive start with breaks galore but by the time we approach the finish the key players should be in the mix. To win here is every pro's dream; it's just not possible for most."