Quintana’s 2019 credentials are far from impressive. And what the Colombian did on the Tourmalet puts a big question mark over his head. Dropping out of the GC group while your squad is working on the front. Not very clever. But, while we don’t expect him to add a third Grand Tour to his tally, the Colombian could definitely shine on a route that matches his qualifications. Is he going to turn out on top at the Prat d’Albis? He has always been somewhat of an enigma, so why not bounce back unexpectedly. The ascent includes two kilometres at 10.5% and 11%, while the second half goes up at 6 to 7% – an ascent for Colombians to thrive.
That said, Steven Kruijswijk and Thibaut Pinot were the most impressive climbers on the Tourmalet.
The first 50 kilometres of stage 15 rise slightly before the Col de Montségur appears after 50 kilometres. The climb towards the ruined Cathar castle is 6.8 kilometres at 6% before a rolling section runs to three ascents in the last 75 kilometres. Port de Lers (11.4 kilometres at 7%) and Mur de Péguère (9 kilometres at 7.9%, while the last 3.3 kilometres go up at almost 13%) follow in quick succession before a long descent leads to Foix, a town at the foot of the final haul up.
The road to the summit of the Prat d’Albis is multifaceted. Steady initially, the road kicks up at 10.5% in the fourth kilometre and 11% in the sixth before the climb levels out as it enters the open section towards the top.
With time bonuses of 8, 5 and 3 seconds up for grabs at the Mur de Péguère, GC riders are tempted to open early. Naturally, the lead of the attackers will be the deciding factor if they do or don’t. Riders eyeing the polka dot jersey – De Gendt, Nibali, Wellens – are expected in the breakaway, as there are a lot of KOM points to be gained in the 15th stage of the Tour de France.
Favourites 15th stage 2019 Tour de France
*** Steven Kruijswijk, Thibaut Pinot, Nairo Quintana
** Mikel Landa, Egan Bernal, Emanuel Buchmann, Geraint Thomas
* Giulio Ciccone, Thomas De Gendt, Vincenzo Nibali, Fabio Aru
Take a look at the route of the 15th stage on the Tour de France.
Tour de France 2019 stage 15: profile and climbs
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