Tour de France 2023 Favourites stage 17: Double digit denouement

Tadej pogacar - Tour de France 2023 Favourites stage 17: Double digit denouementfoto: Cor VosThe riders not only traverse four huge mountains in stage 17, the finale is a fast descent before the roads ramps up to double digits in the final 600 metres. In fact, the finishing ramp is similar to last year's Peyragudes finish. (Slideshow route/profile)

The Courchevel and Peyragudes finishes are similar in all sorts of ways. Very short, inhumunaly steep, and both situated on an altiport. The best riders of last year’s Tour, Vingegaard and Pogacar, were crawling side by side to the line in Peyragudes. The Slovene took the spoils with a winning dash to the line at some 10 kilometres per hour.

This year’s finale is even harder, as the preceding climb is a monster. The Col de la Loze is wildly irregular in the last 5 kilometres, but still, the average gradient sits at 10% in that section. The most brutal stretch goes up at 24%.

In the run-up to the Col de la Loze the riders are to conquer the Col des Saises (13.4 kilometres at 5.1%), Cormet de Roselend (19.9 kilometres at 6%) and Côte de Longefoy (6.6 kilometres at 7.5%). The route stays at altitude after that last KOM sprint. In fact, the route continues to climb at shallow gradients for 5 kilometres.

After reaching mountain village Notre-Dame-du-Pré the route descends to Moûtiers and moments later the Col de la Loze kicks in. The first half is nothing special and the second half is also not the issue. That is, at first. The first part of the second half goes up at 7%, but it really comes down to the last 5 kilometres. Even in the relatively easy sections the climb is a killer while nearing the summit. The 24% slope we mentioned appears 2 kilometres under the top.

The rider who reaches the crest in first position is not home yet. Far from it. The 6 kilometres descent – with a short uphill at 5% halfway – ends abruptly at the foot of a Wall that doubles as the finish – 600 metres at 10.8% and with a 18% ramp just before the line.

Is Pogacar able to bounce back after the ITT blow? Until now he never dropped Vingegaard properly, the time he gained was always limited to handfuls of seconds. So, if he wants to win the Tour he has to strike early on the Col de la Loze. After all, he is 1.48 minutes in arrears.

We hope the two Tour de France starts will battle it out for the stage win, but of course, it’s just as likely that the breakaway will succeed. Jumbo-Visma will not control the race, but maybe UAE Emirates will in the hope to distance Vingegaard eventually and take the time bonuses at the Col de la Loze and at the line.

Favourites 17th stage 2023 Tour de France

*** Tadej Pogacar, Jonas Vingegaard
** Mikel Landa, Giulio Ciccone, Wout Poels, Thibaut Pinot
* Sepp Kuss, Tom Pidcock, Rafal Majka, Dylan Teuns, Mattias Skjelmose

Another interesting read: route 17th stage 2023 Tour de France.

Tour de France 2023 stage 17: profiles

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