The Queen Stage is the last chance for the climbers to put time into their opponents. The 20th stage is an individual time trial, while the parade stage to Paris is just for show (and sprinters).
The route of the 19th stage on the Tour de France is finely balanced and makes for compelling racing. Following a rolling prelude – with the Côte de Loucrup (1.8 kilometres at 7.2%) and Côte de Capvern-les-Bais (3.4 kilometres at 5.1%) standing out – the mountain goats can come to the fore when the Col d’Aspin appears after 65 kilometres. The 12 kilometres climb is averaging 6.5%. Back in the valley the road points straight back up again on the illustrious Col du Tourmalet. Following its 17.1 kilometres with an average uphill slope of 7.3% the route drops down to Argelès-Gazost – a plunge of almost 40 kilometres.
Three more climbs to go in the 2018 Tour de France – Col de Bordères, Col du Soulor and Col d’Aubisque -, but it may be argued to be one climb. It is 36 kilometres from Argelès-Gazost to the top of the Aubisque and 75% of this distance runs uphill. The Bordères climbs for 8.6 kilometres at 5.8% and the Soulor is 7 kilometres at 8.4% before the famed Aubisque is actually not so hard at all: 7 kilometres at 4.4%. Yet, a late attack could be a ticket to glory as the last 2.5 kilometres before the top are averaging 7%.
The riders fly down 17 kilometres from the summit of the Aubisque before they turn right in the valley (left goes to Spain). The final 3 kilometres of the Queen Stage are played out on the (false) flat.
Favourites 19th stage 2018 Tour de France
*** Romain Bardet, Tom Dumoulin, Primoz Roglic, Nairo Quintana
** Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Mikel Landa, Steven Kruijswijk
* Robert Gesink, Bauke Mollema, Adam Yates, Daniel Martin
Tour de France 2018 stage 19: Route maps, height profiles, and more
Click on the images to zoom
Climb details Col du Tourmalet
Climb details Col des Borderes en Aubisque
Profile final kilometres
Route final kilometres
Streetview Top Tourmalet
Tourmalet (east) at strava.com