Tour de France 2017 Favourites stage 16: Sprinters or escapees

Sprinters will be eyeing up the 16th stage of the Tour de France, they are favorite to win the race. Although the route takes in a tough climb as an appetizer, today's uphill sectors are doable. Besides, at kilometre 70 the nastiest hills are history and then the last 100 kilometres are played out on gently rolling roads. (Slideshow route/profile)

Stage 16 in Tour de France amounts to 165 kilometres and by far the most hurdles are in the first half of the race. To put it even stronger, the first 20 kilometres are toughest. Once the flag is dropped the road runs uphill to the foot of Côte de Boussoulet, which is a 4.5 kilometres climb at 6.3%. Those are the steepest ramps in today’s road book.

We can expect a high pace with a lot of movement, as the race could come down to a chance for attackers. That is, if they can defy the odds and the sprint teams are missing their chance. The intermediate climbs are certainly doable for sprinters. The aforementioned Boussoulet and the Col du Rouvey, which is averaging 5.6% at 2.8 kilometres, are the only KOM climbs. Furthermore, after cresting the Rouvey a 40 kilometres descent runs to the last 50 kilometres on gently rolling roads. So that’s ample time to re-group. That is, if you have fresh legs…

In short, on paper this one should be for the sprinters with attackers getting lucky when the sprint teams fail to hunt them down. A last option could be echelons, as the finale travels through the Rhone Valley.

Favourites 16th stage 2017 Tour de France

*** Edvald Boasson Hagen, John Degenkolb, Marcel Kittel, Michael Matthews, Stephen Cummings
** Dylan Groenewegen, Ben Swift, Maciej Bodnar, Lilian Calmejane, Greg Van Avermaet
* Diego Ulissi, Taylor Phinney, Stefan Küng, Dylan Groenewegen, André Greipel

Tour de France 2017 stage 16: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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