Tour de France 2017 Favourites stage 13: For descending devils

On paper, the 13th stage in the Tour de France is bound to bring spectacle from start to finish. At merely 101 kilometres, the route takes in three intermediate climbs while the finish lies 27 kilometres after the last peak. So that's a downhill finale after an explosive mountain stage... (Slideshow route/profile)

Stage 13 in the Tour de France runs to Foix. The riders face three intermediate climbs: Col de Latrape (5.6 kilometres at 7.2%) Col d’Agnes (10 kilometres at 8%) and the Mur de Péguère (9.3 kilometres at 7.9%). Especially the last 3 kilometres of the Péguère are a drag with an average grade of more than 11%.

The 14th stage of the 2012 Tour de France featured almost the same finale with the Mur de Péguère as the last climb before a drop into Foix. Steven Kruijswijk, Luis León Sánchez, Philippe Gilbert, Sandy Casar, Gorka Izagirre and Peter Sagan were in the break and eventually Sánchez soloed to victory with the peloton 18 minutes in arrears.

It is unlikely that a similar scenario will unfold in the 13th stage of the 2017 Tour de France. Of course, there is always the possibility that a bunch of escapees will ride to glory, but as today’s route is merely 101 kilometres we should expect a battle from start to finish – probably even a GC battle. The above-mentioned race had a similar finale, but amounted to almost twice the distance. At merely 101 kilometres, today’s stage takes in three 1st category KOM climbs, which is perfect for attacks from the gun.

The 27 kilometres descent of the Mur de Péguère could be crucial. Last year, Chris Froome paved the way for his overall victory with an attack in the descent of the Peyresourde and recently he put huge pressure on his rivals in the Dauphiné’s technical descent of Mont du Chat. So we might expect Froomey to be up to something – possibly with the help of his team-mate Michal Kwiatkowski, another strong descender…

In the 9th stage of the Tour Froome attacked again in the Mont du Chat descent, but Romain Bardet counter-attacked and the winner of the Peyragudes-stage arrived in the valley approximately half a minute ahead of the then yellow jersey. After he was taken down by the Porte-crash, Dan Martin descended blistering fast also.

Or are we going to see an Alberto Contador showdown? And will the GC guys grant him time to work on his rehabilitation?

Favourites 13th stage 2017 Tour de France

*** Chris Froome, Michal Kwiatkowski, Romain Bardet, Daniel Martin, Rigoberto Uran
** Warren Barguil, Alberto Contador, Jarlinson Pantano, Tim Wellens
* Tony Gallopin, Pierre Latour, Fabio Aru, George Bennett, Mikel Landa

Tour de France 2017 stage 13: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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