Is the race going to come down to a clash of GC riders or will we see the breakaway fight for the day’s honours? Both scenario’s are plausible. With approximately 50 kilometres on undulating terrain to the foot of the Soulor, the route lends itself for the attackers to open up a substantial gap. If De Gendt is up the road with some of his breakaway-expert colleagues, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to think that they will tackle the Tourmalet with a lead of 10 minutes or more.
On the other hand, it isn’t far-fetched either to realize that a lot of GC riders have lost time and are eager to make up ground lost. So a GC battle on the Tourmalet is just as likely.
Take Pinot. He looks strong, but he is forced to chase after the echelon-marked Albi stage. Not afraid to attack, we should expect the Frenchman to put pressure on his rivals. Same goes for Landa. The two riders are similar and with their power and grinta, the French-Basque combo is likely to pep up the race.
The route includes two major ascents. The Col du Soulor climbs for 11.9 kilometres at 7.8% before a long descent leads to Argelès-Gazost. The riders enter a new valley to follow the Gave the Gavernie upstream. This is a false flat of 20 kilometres and in Luz-Saint-Sauveur the route turns right to tackle the Tourmalet. The steady ascent of 19 kilometres at 7.4% kicks it up a notch in the last 3 kilometres. The third kilometre before the finish slopes at 10.9%, while the last kilometre rises at 9.8%.
Favourites 14th stage 2019 Tour de France
*** Thibaut Pinot, Mikel Landa, Geraint Thomas
** Steven Kruijswijk, Nairo Quintana, Mikel Landa, Jakob Fuglsang
* Thomas De Gendt, Vincenzo Nibali, Fabio Aru, Warren Barguil
Take a look at the route of the 14th stage on the Tour de France.
Tour de France 2019 stage 14: profile and last climb
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