Tour de France 2016 Route stage 19: Albertville - Saint Gervais Mont Blanc
Friday, July 22, 2016 – The 146 kilometres between Albertville and Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc mark the start of two spectacular Tour de France days in the Alps. Actually, stage 19 is the first of the last two mountain stages in this year's La Grande Boucle, while the closing climb up the slopes of Mont Blanc marks the last top finish. Who is brave – or desperate – enough to attack?
Once the flag is dropped, a 8.5 kilometres climb takes the riders up the Collet de Tamié. A proper way to stretch the legs, while the warm-up should be over when cresting Col de la Forclaz with 42.5 kilometres done. This climb totals 10.2 kilometres at 6.5%. The first half, offering nice views over Lac d’Annecy, is easiest – it is after 6 kilometres up the slopes when it gets more tricky with sections at 12% and more.
Via the valley of the river Chaise, also known as the Monthoux, the riders arrive in Ugine, at the foot of Col de la Forclaz Queige. A lot of hairpins take the riders up the 5.4 kilometres climb at 8% to arrive in the village of Queige.
A short descent brings the riders to the foot of the longest climb of the day. Debuting is the Tour de France, Montée de Bisanne is a 12.4 kilometres monster at 8.2%. The monster-part is a gradual build-up, starting at a 6.2% grade in the first kilometre to conclude with 10% in the last.
Always with the 4,809 metres peak of the Mont Blanc in the background – actually, since the start getting closer and closer to the highest mountain in Europe -, the riders tackle the closing climb to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc. Once more 10 kilometres of suffering, this time at an average grade of 7.9%. The climb kicks in really hard with a first kilometre at 12.9%, while the second kilometre is not for pussies either: 10.8%. After 3 kilometres the climbs flattens out a little, only to go steep up again in the last 4 kilometres.
Edition 2016 brings the third Tour de France finish to the flanks of the Mont Blanc. In 1990 Thierry Claveyrolat powered to victory after a 70 kilometres solo, while Rolf Jaermann took a stage in 1992.
Chris Froome knows how it feels like to win in Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc, too. Last year he took a Critérium du Dauphiné stage to the ski resort. Is he going to do the same in the 2016 Tour de France?
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses at 10, 6 and 4 seconds.
Results /race report 19th stage, 2016 Tour de France
Tour de France 2016 stage 19: Route maps, height profiles, etc.
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