Stage 11: Courchevel - Briançon
Ahhh, what a day! One of the hardest days of the Tour, stage 11 finishes in Briancon, in teh middle of the Alps, after heading up the slopes of the Col de la Madeleine, the Col du Telegraphe and then straight into the Col du Galibier for a total of 54.9km of cat 1 and hors categorie climbing at no less than 6.1%. There's plenty of Tour history in these mountains, and the legendary status of all three cols has been the x-factor in victory for many Tour champions. It's a day made for those who can climb and descend fearlessly, and with his recent run of great form and support from the likes of Ullrich and Kloeden, Vinokourov could give Lance a real run for his money, much like 2003; it was at this stage two years ago that the Kazakh made his push for the lead. Young riders such as Michael Rogers and Alejandro Valverde are expected to excel in this kind of environment - Rogers is a proven Tour finisher, whilst Valverde is untested over the tough three weeks in France, so anything could happen. This day will most likely separate the real GC contenders from the rest, as the selection for the final week is made and the remainder of the peloton hangs tough to weather the storm.
Latest on Cyclingnews
Pogacar storms to maillot jaune in stage 20 as Roglic's Tour de France bid collapsesPogacar smashes time trial and Porte moves onto podium
Anna Van der Breggen wins the Giro RosaEvita Muzic claims final stage from breakaway
Ethan Hayter wins the Giro dell'AppeninoDebut pro victory for Ineos Grenadiers rider
Truck on course causes crash at Tour de LuxembourgRace incidents to be reviewed at UCI Management Committee meeting
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.