Tour de France 2022 stage 17 preview - Pyrenean showdown

Where is stage 17: Saint-Gaudens to Peyragudes

When is stage 17: July 20, 2022

How far is stage 17: 129.7km

What is the start time: 13:15 - 16:50 CEST

Stage type: Mountain

Stage 17 sees the second of a trio of Pyrenean showdowns among the overall contenders, with the summit finish sure to deliver an exciting duel between leader Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and defending Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates).

Vingegaard has a 2:22 lead over the Slovenian but on the climbs of stage 16, Pogačar delivered on his promise to not go down without a fight. He attacked numerous times but each time he was easily marked by the Dane.

Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) opened up a 92-second lead over the next-placed rider Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samisc) after Romain Bardet (Team DSM) collapsed and dropped to 9th.

However, the Welshman showed some weakness amid Pogačar's attacks. Adam Yates and Tom Pidcock sacrificed some time to haul him back in and lost time, so Ineos are putting all their money on Thomas. It's going to be a vicious stage.

This is the shortest mountain stage of the Tour, but four hard climbs make it a crucial one in the GC fight. The first 53km are flat before the first-category Col d'Aspin begins. Climbing 785 metres over 12km, the hardest part at 9.5% comes after seven kilometres.

A fast eight-kilometre downhill takes the peloton to the foot of the second-category Hourquette d'Ancizan. This irregular 8.2-kilometre climb begins with 4km at 7.5%, but the gradient is often steeper than that. A descent and false flat precede the final ramp at between 6 and 7.4%.

10km of descending and seven kilometres of flat road bring riders to the first category, 10.7-kilometre Col de Val Louron-Azet. Starting with the three easiest kilometres at 5.1, 2.5, and 6.2%, the climb then only dips below 7.1% once (a kilometre from the top), with the gradient often between 8 and 9%.

7km of descending are followed by a five-kilometre flat section before the first-category climb to the finish in Peyragudes begins. Eight kilometres in length, it starts easy with a kilometre at 4.5% before kicking up to between 7.9 and 8.7% for the next four kilometres. Then there is a brief respite at six% followed by a 9% ramp and another kilometre at six%. The final kilometre is the hardest at 13% with a brief section reaching 16%.

The GC contenders will probably save their attacks for the final climb, meaning that a strong breakaway could go all the way.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

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.

Latest on Cyclingnews