After welcoming the riders in the climbing time trial of stage 19, Mégève now serves as a departure place. On rolling roads the pack sets sail for the foot of the first climb of the day. Col des Aravis is crested with 21 kilometres done after a 6.7 kilometres climb at 7%. A nice way to warm-up.
While climbing up the Col de la Colombière the riders can take comfort in the fact they tackle the pass from the easiest side – which is from Le Grand-Bornand, thus averaging almost 6% in 11.7 kilometres. Following a long and sometimes steep descent drop the riders navigate a false flat in the valley until they arrive at the foot of Col de la Ramaz. At slightly over 7% the La Ramaz certainly is doable. It is the length – 13,9 kilometre – and irregularity making it a tough climb. At 11.5%, the tenth kilometre is steepest only to be followed by a false flat 1 kilometre further up the montain.
For dessert we have the Col de Joux-Plane, an 11.6 kilometres at 8.5%. Half of the climb is at grades at over 9%, while the steepest kilometre – once again the tenth – is at 10.5%.
After cresting comes a gentle drop in 2 kilometres, a short ascent at 2.9% (to Col du Ranfolly), and then the riders plunge down to Morzine in an 8 kilometres drop at 8.4%. In Morzine itself the section to the finish line is a few hundred metres and goes up at around 3%.
In the past, household names such as Pantani, Virenque (2x) and Sastre were celebrated as the victor in Morzine. Don’t be surprised if another big name joins those men after the last mountain stage 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 20th stage, 2016 Tour de France.
Tour de France 2016 stage 20: Route maps, height profiles, etc.
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