Stage 19: Lourdes - Laruns
Two days before the end of the Tour, the giants of the Pyrenees are concentrated in one single stage: the Aspin, Tourmalet, Soulor and Aubisque. Rather than finishing in Pau after a too-long flat section following the climbs, the line will be drawn right at the end of the descent off the Aubisque in Laruns.
The beginning of that descent is fast, but the second part is technical. With 30 seconds' advantage at the top, a good descender wouldn't be caught. And that means that the overall classification could yet be reshuffled, although the GC contenders might be hoping to save any remaining energy for the time trial the next day day.
This is a great stage for any climbers to make up for any disappointing performances earlier on in the Tour. The second-category Col des Bordères may not be as well a known climb as the others that surround it on this stage, but it could be the springboard for a spirited attack en route to the Col du Soulor and the Col d'Aubisque. Think along the lines of what Vincenzo Nibali did on the penultimate stage of the 2016 Giro d'Italia – although everyone knows that the Tour is much more controlled.
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