It’s the 18th time the Tour de France leaves from Bourg d’Oisans. Arrivals, that’s another story. No wonder as the village is located at the foot of the climb to Alpe d’Huez.
The last departure from Bourg d’Oisans was in 2013, when the riders faced a tough day in the high mountains. Eventually, Rui Costa soloed to victory in Le Grand-Bornard. This time no demanding cols, the peloton can look forward to a relatively easy day on the road to Valence. The finish should suit fast finishers, but don’t write off the chances for the breakaway.
In 1996, Chepe González brought an early break home by a late attack in the streets of Valence. It was one of two Tour de France arrivals in the town on the eastern bank of the Rhône. In 2015, André Greipel sprinted to his third stage win of that edition by besting John Degenkolb and Alexander Kristoff in Valence.
Possibly, we’ll see a sprint in 2018, too. Following an opening on the flat the route descends to the Côte de Brié, which is a 2.4 kilometres climb at 6.9% with its crest after 32.5 kilometres. The route continues to go up slightly for a few more kilometres before a downhill leads to a flat section of around 40 kilometres. Then it’s onto more lumpy terrain with Côte de Sainte-Eulalie-en-Royans standing out – 1.5 kilometres at 4.9%. A false flat prolongs the hill somewhat, but at kilometre 122 the route drops down.
Two more hills – one with 37 kilometres out, one 23 kilometres from the line – lead to a downhill and the last 10 kilometres are flat. The finale is played out on wide boulevards in Valence. With 1.3 kilometres to go the route kicks up at 3% for 500 metres, while a roundabout is to be reckoned with 400 metres before the finish line.
The first three riders on the line win time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds. The intermediate sprint (at kilometre 71) does not come with a time bonus, it’s a sprint for green jersey points.
Read also: results/race report 13th stage 2018 Tour de France.
Tour de France 2018 stage 13: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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