Two 2 kilometres are super-steep with double digits grades, yet the other uphill sectors are doable with grades at around 5%, sometimes peaking to 8%. That’s too much for the likes of Tony Martin, but Tom Dumoulin doesn’t shy away from an occasional climb. On the contrary, he will think of it as a good training ahead of the Summer Olympics in Rio. Same story for Ion Izagirre and Nelson Oliveira, yet Dumoulin is a a better climber.
Dumoulin will be eyeing up his third stage win in La Grande Boucle, but just as interesting is the battle among the GC men. Froome was in class of his own in the first ITT in the France – that is, if we are talking GC riders as Dumoulin put 1 minute into the yellow jersey. Mollema was suprisingly strong, too, in last Friday’s hilly ITT.
Favourites 18th stage Tour de France 2016:
*** Tom Dumoulin, Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana
** Bauke Mollema, Richie Porte, Ion Izagirre
* Tejay van Garderen, Vincenzo Nibali, Nelson Oliveira
Tour de France 2016 stage 18: Route maps, height profile, and more
Click on the images to zoom.