Good descenders are favoured in stage 7 of the Tour de France. Following the climbs up Côte de Capvern (7.1 kilometres at 3.1%) and Col d’Aspin (12 kilometres at 6.5%) a descent leads to a short closing climb to the finish line near Lac du Payolle. So Froome should be alert. He is not the best descender in the world and normally we could expect Contador to put pressure on him in the drop, yet El Pistolero is injured and will be happy to survive. But don’t be surprised to see strong descenders like Valverde and Nibali go on the attack with their leaders Quintana and Aru in tow. Maybe a latin combination will take shape. That said, in last year’s Tour de France Froome stood his ground in the descents, sometimes even taking the initiative.
The last climb is not steep (4.2%), so the difference has to be made in the drop of the Aspin. And, if not, the race is likely to boil down to a sprint with a select group. Or talented young GC guys will get the chance to launch a late atack without repercussions of the big guys, which is something that should fancy Yates and Kelderman.
And let’s not forget about Daniel Martin either. In the Volta a Catalunya he powered to victory in a mountain stage with a likewise profile.
An early break to bear fruit seems highly unlikely, yet you’ll never know. Guys like Tom Dumoulin and Rui Costa already lost time, so thay may be up for some break away action.
Favourites 7th stage Tour de France 2016:
*** Alejandro Valverde, Daniel Martin, Fabio Aru
** Vincenzo Nibali, Rui Costa, Wilco Kelderman, Adam Yates, Julian Alaphilippe
* Tony Gallopin, Tom Dumoulin, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Serge Pauwels, Alexis Gougeard
Tour de France 2016 stage 7: Route maps, height profiles, etc.
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