Tour de France 2020 Favourites stage 18: Heroism on unpaved roads

Tadej Pogacar - Tour de France 2020 Favourites stage 18:Stage 18 of the Tour de France includes five ascents. The core of the race is expected to be steep and partly unpaved Plateau des Glières. Is the Tour going to be decided in this spectacular scenery?

Following a relatively calm opener of almost 30 kilometres the Cormet de Roselend offers 18.6 kilometres of climbing at 6%. Back in the valley another long uphill takes the shape of the Col de Saisies. This one is 15 kilometres long and the average gradient sits at 5.1%.

With this the longest ascents of the day are history midway through the race.

Two more ascents left. The Col des Aravis is 6.7 kilometres long and slopes at 7% before the riders plunge down a 20 kilometres descent to what could become the decisive ascent in the 2020 Tour de France. If one thing, the Montée du plateau des Glières does posses the raw materials.

The Plateau des Glières climbs for 6 kilometres at 11.2% and never drops below 10%. After reaching the limestone plateau the route continues on 2 kilometres of false flat gravel roads. Two years ago Froome punctured on this stretch. It happened without consequences, as it was still a long way to the finish line.

This time the Montée du plateau des Glières is only 20 kilometres away from the finish. This is mostly on descent – with the exception of the Col des Fleuries -, which is a 5.5 kilometres climb at 4.6% that the riders crest with 10 kilometres out, before flying further down to the line in La Roche-sur-Foron.

The battle for the yellow is likely to ignite on the flanks of Montée du plateau des Glières, although riders with limited time trialing skills may opt to strike early with an all-or-nothing attack. After all, it is their only option. After this race from Méribel to La Roche-sur-Foron the Tour de France serves two more flat stages and a time trial to La Planche des Belles Filles.

Obviously, how the race unfolds will depend on the GC, so we’ll update this article during the Tour de France.

Favourites 18th stage 2020 Tour de France

*** Tadej Pogacar, Primoz Roglic, Egan Bernal
** Tom Dumoulin, Geraint Thomas, Thibaut Pinot, Nairo Quintana
* Julian Alaphilippe, Sergio Higuita, Pierre Latour, Enric Mas

Take a look at the route of the 18th stage on the Tour de France.

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