At the difference of the previous day, the third Alpine stage features famous climbs: Col de la Madeleine, Croix-de-Fer and L'Alpe d'Huez.
Between the first and the second giants, organizers have added the spectacular Lacets de Montvernier that made the highlights of stage 18 in 2015. For safety reasons, the access was forbidden to the crowd so one could encourage Romain Bardet on the conquest of his first Tour de France victory at Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.
La Madeleine, on its northern versant, is the climb of famous failures, since Eddy Merckx lost contact with the top of world cycling in 1977 (his last Tour de France) and finished more than 13 minutes after Hennie Kuiper at L'Alpe d'Huez.
The iconic finish of the 21 curves named after the stage winners is back on the route, three years after the last visit of the Tour. French riders are unbeaten on the now-called Dutch mountain this decade: Pierre Rolland (2011), Christophe Riblon (2013) and Thibaut Pinot (2015).