The riders clip into their pedals near the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes and leave the pilgrimage site behind to enter the Pyrenees. On virtually flat roads the route travels to Laruns and after 60 kilometres in the saddle the climbing begins.
The Col d’Aubisque is a climb of 16.4 kilometres at 7.1% before the riders descend via the Col du Soulor to Ferrières. That’s the base of the Col de Spandelles, which is a 10.3 kilometres climb at 8.3%.
A long descent leads to Argelès-Gazost, and that’s the base of the finish climb.
The ascent to ski resort Hautacam is a scenic one-way climb. The length is 13.6 kilometres and the average gradient sits at 7.8%. The second half is the hardest part with kilometres 8, 9 and 11 standing out – respectively with gradients at 10.3%, 11.3%, and 10.4%.
It’s the sixth time the Hautacam ascent is included in the Tour de France. Luc Leblanc won in 1994, Bjarne Riis in 1996 , Javier Otxoa in 2000, Juan José Cobo in 2008, and in 2014 Vincenzo Nibali took the win. With the exception of Otxoa and Nibali all these riders were affiliated with doping at some point in their career.
The first three riders on the line gain time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds.
Ride the route yourself? Download GPX stage 18 Tour de France.
Another interesting read: results 18th stage 2022 Tour de France.
Tour de France 2022 stage 18: routes, profiles, more
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