- Aug 31, 2014
Friday, July 22nd • Stage info • Startlist • Roadbook • Rules • Weather: Start, Halfway, Finish
Starts at 13:10 - Live video from 13:00 - Finish at 17:20 (CEST) • Live ticker • Livestreams
Mountain passes & hills:
Km 42.5 - Col de la Forclaz de Montmin (1 157 m) 9.8 kilometre-long climb at 6.9% - category 1
Km 73.5 - Col de la Forclaz de Queige (870 m) 5.6 kilometre-long climb at 7.8% - category 2
Km 96.5 - Montée de Bisanne (1 723 m) 12.4 kilometre-long climb at 8.2% - category H
Km 146.0 - Le Bettex (1 372 m) 9.8 kilometre-long climb at 8% - category 1
Current GC standings:CyclingQuotes.com said:In 2011, the Tour de France introduced a novelty when they designed a very short stage between Mondane Valfrejus and Alpe d’Huez. It created an exciting race as the favourites were not afraid of the distance and so attacked each other right from the start. Since then, the idea of short, intensive mountain stages has been very popular and all the grand tours have repeatedly made use of the concept. Last year ASO had two short mountain stages on the final days leading to big finale in Paris and they again created a huge drama and almost turned the race in its head. This year the Giro d’Italia had a similar finale, with two short stages in the Alps bringing the race to dramatic conclusion.
It now seems to be the preferred way to end a grand tour. For the second year in a row, two short Alpine stages will decide the winner of the Tour de France. Unlike last year, both of them don’t have summit finishes but they both have the potential do some serious damage as they both have numerous hard climbs.
The first challenge is stage 19 which will bring the riders over just 146km from Albertville to a summit finish on the category 1 climb of Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc. It has one of those starts that every sprinter fears as it’s up the Collet de Tamié (8.1km, 7%) right from the start. For some reason, that climb is uncategorized but it’s sure to send lots of riders out the back door. Then the riders will travel north along a gradually descending road, passing the flat intermediate sprint at the 25.5km mark.
In the city of Talloires on the shores of the Annecy Lake after 32.5km of racing, the riders will turn around to go up the category 1 climb of Col de la Forclaz de Montmin (9.8km, 6.9%). The descent leads back to flat road as the riders turn west to approach the next challenge, the category 2 climb of Col de la Forclaz de Queige (5.6km, 7.8%). A short descent and a gradually rising road will the bring the riders to the bottom of the hardest climb of the stage, the category HC Montee de Bisanne (12.4km, 8.2%). It’s a tough climb which only gets steeper and steeper as the gradient barely drops below the 9% for the final 6.4km.
The top comes with 49.5km to go and is followed by a gradual descent. Then the riders will travel along slightly rising roads in a northeasterly direction, passing through the previous day’s finish in Megève before they get to a short descent that leads to the cities of Domancy and Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc where the final hostilities will start. First the riders will turn around to go up the Cote des Amerands which is a small appetizer for the final category 1 mountain. It averages 8% over 9.8% and has a very tough start with gradients of 10-13% in the first two kilometres. The next three kilometres are easier and then it’s 7-10% for the final four kilometres. There are multiple hairpin bends in the final five kilometres, including one just after the flamme rouge. Then there’s a sharp turn and some winding bends that lead onto the 60m, 5m wide finishing straight.
It’s the final summit finish of the race so for riders that are not fond of the tricky descent to Morzine on stage 20, this is the final chance to make a move. The final climb may only be of the first category 1 but that is only due to its length. The gradients are tough and with a very steep start, attacks can be made from the bottom. For many, it is also the final chance to win a stage so there is a solid chance that the GC riders will battle it out for the win but these short stages are always hard to control, especially with such a short start. Hence, it is definitely possible that a big group of climbers will get away on the first climb and decide the stage. Unfortunately, the GC riders have to wait until the final climb as the long easy section between the final two ascents make it less suited to attacks from afar.
The final climb was first used for the finish of a major bike race at last year’s Criterium du Dauphiné. Here Chris Froome bounced back from a difficult start by winning the stage in solo fashion, having finally managed to get rid of Tejay van Garderen whom he distanced by 17 seconds. That set the scene for a thrilling final stage and Froome went on to gain what he needed in the final stage to dispose the BMC captain from the yellow jersey.
Abandons Stage 18:
DNS: ARCHBOLD, Shane (Bora - Argon 18) - crash stage 17, broken pelvis
DNS: CANCELLARA, Fabian (Trek - Segafredo) - Olympics
DENNIS (BMC) ARCHBOLD (BOA) BRESCHEL, LANGEVELD (CDT) BOŽIČ (COF) CAVENDISH, RENSHAW (DDD) TULIK (DEN) LADAGNOUS, PINEAU, PINOT (FDJ) FRANK (IAM) MØRKØV, VAN DEN BROECK (KAT) DEBUSSCHERE (LTS) HERRADA, G. IZAGIRRE (MOV) GERRANS (OBE) CONTADOR (TNK) CANCELLARA, THEUNS (TFS)
177 of 198 riders remain in the race.
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