Tour de France 2022 - Stage 13 preview

Stage 13:  Le Bourg-d'Oisans to Saint-Étienne

Date: July 15, 2022

Distance: 192.6km

Stage timing: 13:05 - 17:26 CEST

Stage type: Flat

Now that the GC riders have had their days in the high mountains of the Alps to transform the overall standings of the Tour de France, the race will roll out of Le Bourg-d'Oisans and away from the Alpe d’Huez to provide an opportunity for the riders who have spent the climb heavy stages battling to hang on at the back. 

The first 74km of racing for the peloton will mainly follow the Romanche and Isère rivers, only interrupted by the third-category Côte de Brié. The second-category Col de Parménie, 5.1km at 6.6%, is the hardest climb of the day but comes with over 110km to go.

After the Col de Parménie, the terrain is more rolling, and the third-category Côte de Saint-Romain-en-Gal that comes after crossing the Rhône is another 6.6-kilometre climb, cresting 44km from the finish. The final kilometres in Saint-Étienne are not too technical – the last turn onto the finishing straight near the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard comes with 800 metres to go – which could prove ideal for a mass sprint.

The sprinters after all, will be looking for some return on the effort they put in to make it through the mountains within the time cut, particularly as they’ve been waiting since Denmark for their chance. This 192.6km stage, however, is far from guaranteed to be a large bunch finish. 

If the pressure is on, the lumpy terrain could put pressure on those like stage 2 winner Fabio Jakobsen (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) and stage 3 winner Dylan Groenwegen (BikeExchange-Jayco), maybe opening the way for a reduced bunch and another chance for Groenewegen’s teammate Michael Matthews to break on to the top step after two second places.

The breakaway riders suited to the punchy terrain will also be looking to the profile with hopes that after the hard work of claiming yellow in the Alps for Jonas Vingegaard, Jumbo-Visma will be content to sit back and allow the gap to stretch far enough that the sprinters teams can’t reel them back in.

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Lukas Knöfler started working in cycling communications in 2013 and has seen the inside of the scene from many angles. Having worked as press officer for teams and races and written for several online and print publications, he has been Cyclingnews’ Women’s WorldTour correspondent since 2018.

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