2014 Tour de France July 18, Stage 13: Saint-Étienne - Chamrousse 197.5km

Mar 14, 2009
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2014 Tour de France July 18, Stage 13: Saint-Étienne - Chamrousse 197.5km

Stage details

Distance: 197.5km

Category: High mountains

Highest point: 1,730m

The first of two stages through the Alps has an awkward, rearing profile with three categorised climbs. An early climb up the cat 3 Col de la Croix de Montvieux at 24km could be the springboard for a day-long break, but it’s when the race hits the little known Col de Palaquit where the GC and KOM jersey contenders’ teams will be paying the closest attention.

The 14km Palaquit has a kinky profile with plenty of opportunity for guerrilla contenders to launch an attack as it will be difficult for the big GC teams to dictate the pace up the climb. The reward for topping the Palaquit with a decent gap is a rapid descent down to Grenoble before the 18.2km slog up to the ski station. Along the way they’ll tackle section of sustained 12 per cent on the HC category climb, which is just the sort of arena where climbers might pull the pin in the hope of gaining time over struggling rivals.

It’ll be a courageous GC contender who reckons they’ve got the weaponry to attack on the Palaquit and hold on to the finish. That said, a strong and sustains move here could be enough to put the screws on a vulnerable rival. Given the stage, it’s an ideal place for a rider of the future to make a breakthrough. Someone with class but still waiting to be seen as a real podium threat? Look no further than 23-year-old Romain Bardet, who knows these roads intimately and has had a towering season so far.

Koen de Kort says... "I'd be surprised if the GC contenders don't try to win this stage. Maybe a breakaway might stick but I'm expecting one of the real climbers to take this and I can't really see beyond Chris Froome. He's proved over the last 12 months he's the best."

Video preview: http://www.youtube.com/embed/AMegU3-adlo





 
For riders placed 2nd to 15th or so, this is the best chance they will ever have to immortalise themselves as a winner of the Tour de France.

Nibali might have a bad day, he might crash, or he might just have a couple of moderate days in a tough 2nd/3rd week. I think guys like TJVG, Bardet, Pinot, etc have to attack in the lower slopes of this mountain.

It might burn a few WT points, but who gives a damn when the stakes are so high?
 
Jun 5, 2014
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There is only 14 km flat after the Palaquit, which is a hell of a climb. That little descent within the climb makes the average gradient look ...average.
But it has a lot of slopes above 10 % and is very irregular.
This is where I expected from Contador to blow the race into pieces. Now I hope it won't be a procession and some guys in the top 10 attack on the Palaquit. The other guy with balls has the yellow jersey, no need to attack too early.
I hope Astana will be strong as a team and set a high tempo. Nibali to attack 11 km from the finish (km at 9.5 %...after that mostly 5.5 - 7% ) and tt his way to victory 1 minute ahead of Pinot, Valverde and Bardet. Porte having his bad day and lose 2+ minutes.
 
the word is that valverde prepares to peak like an angel. might be the alpes,might be the pyrenees. but he will get better and now the weather is perfect for him. i think in this stage he will follow nibali and sprint for the win.
it will be very interesting how hard will they ride over palaquit. i also expect papy and purito to be up there
 
Jul 21, 2012
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Richie to beat Armstrong record..

Just kidding, but it will be interesting to see who will go fast here.
 
Dr. Juice said:
There is only 14 km flat after the Palaquit, which is a hell of a climb. That little descent within the climb makes the average gradient look ...average.
But it has a lot of slopes above 10 % and is very irregular.
This is where I expected from Contador to blow the race into pieces. Now I hope it won't be a procession and some guys in the top 10 attack on the Palaquit. The other guy with balls has the yellow jersey, no need to attack too early.
I hope Astana will be strong as a team and set a high tempo. Nibali to attack 11 km from the finish (km at 9.5 %...after that mostly 5.5 - 7% ) and tt his way to victory 1 minute ahead of Pinot, Valverde and Bardet. Porte having his bad day and lose 2+ minutes.
14 km on the flat on your own is suicide without support. I don't think anyone from top-15 will go all out on that first climb (and Astana won't let anyone go, unless they know he's alone). The second one is long enough for attacks.
 
Purito will be looking for mountain points, but it's not going to be from a breakaway (leave that for tomorrow). If there are guys up the road, he'll go on the penultimate climb, otherwise early on the final climb. Quite a few teams will be looking to attack early on the final climb. Sky may well try to get Mike Snow up the road and tire out the Astana doms and then put Nibali under pressure. Two guys to look out for in the next two days: Horner and Majka. I think Majka's job was to lay low until the mountains and slowly ride back into form. Yesterday, he stayed with the front group, I think (hope?) that he was taking it easy today. Now Contador is out, if in form again he might be Saxo's best bet for a result.

However, I think that the Shark will show his strength tomorrow.
 
Nov 26, 2012
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Would really like to see a panzer-kwiato train forming in the descent of the cat1 climb.


realistic:
Break to win with 2+min advantage to GC riders.


heart says:
Jrod/TommyV.
Nibali wheelsucking valverde to the finish.
Porte going alien.
 
Jagartrott said:
14 km on the flat on your own is suicide without support. I don't think anyone from top-15 will go all out on that first climb (and Astana won't let anyone go, unless they know he's alone). The second one is long enough for attacks.
If none of the GC men send one of their teammates up the road in the early break, I feel that is sure sign that everybody will wait until the MTF. 14 kms of valley will require drafting help IF someone can drop Nibali on the penultimate climb. That is a big 'if' IMO.
 
Jun 25, 2013
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Things flatten out a bit at the very top. It's a long way there, but if Valverde holds on, he could jump for a stage win.
 
Aug 16, 2013
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Why everybody is expecting Nibbles to win this? I think it's going to be a breakaway for the win. So Purito the big favorite to win a stage, in front of Navarro and a Saxo-rider (Roche or Rogers).

I rather see Nibali win on Risoul.
 
Nov 26, 2012
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Arredondo said:
Why everybody is expecting Nibbles to win this? I think it's going to be a breakaway for the win. So Purito the big favorite to win a stage, in front of Navarro and a Saxo-rider (Roche or Rogers).

I rather see Nibali win on Risoul.
Navarro might actually do it. He is pretty much out of the GC race. Also, i think he might want some UCI points as this is his second yr in Confidis.
 
Feb 10, 2014
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Tomorrow looks good for Valverde. Or perhaps one of the young French riders (Bardet and Pinot).

Risoul (stage 14), the following day, is better suited for the diesels (Tejay, Porte and JCP).
 

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