In recent years, the Tour de France goes big on Quatorze juillet. Last year’s stage went to the Grand Colombier (Michal Kwiatkowski won from the breakaway) and two years ago the finish climb was the iconic Alpe d’Huez ascent (Tom Pidcock won, also from the breakaway) and in 2021 it was Tadej Pogacar whos bested his podium rivals Jonas Vingegaard and Richard Carapaz on the Col du Portet.
This year’s Bastille Day stage traverses the Pyrenees from Loudenvielle to Plateau de Beille. The first half of the race features the Col de Peyresourde (6.9 kilometres at 7.8%), Col de Menté (9.3 kilometres at 9.1%) and Col de Portet-d’Aspet (4.3 kilometres at 9.7%) before the Col d’Agnes (10 kilometres at 8.2%) and the climb to the line stand out in the second half.
Plateau de Beille was first included in the Tour de France in 1998, and Marco Pantani took the win. Lance Armstrong succeeded him in 2022 and 2004, but he was stripped of these triumphs. It lasted until 2011 before the Plateau de Beille returned. Jelle Vanendert sent the Belgian fans into a cycling frenzy by becoming the first Belgian to win a Tour de France mountain stage since Lucien Van Impe in 1983.
The last inclusion of the Plateau de Beille in Le Tour was nine editions ago. After a race over the Col de Portet, Col de la Core and Port de Lers it was Joaquim Rodríguez who left his breakaway companions behind on the finish climb to solo to victory.
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Tour de France 2024 stage 15: route, profiles, videos
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