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Tour de France 2017 Stage 12: Pau > Peyragudes 214.5km

Tomorrow Never Dies… but some hopes can vanish
Following sprint finishes won by Marcel Kittel in the south west of France, the Tour hits the Pyrenees with a so-called “marathon stage” that includes four major climbs in a 214.5km long race finishing uphill at Peyragudes. Col des Ares, col de Menté, Port de Balès and col de Peyresourde are on the menu in the last 100km. Peyragudes hosted a stage finish for the first time five years ago. Alejandro Valverde won up there, so did Alexandre Geniez at the 2013 Vuelta a España, but it's a different finale this time around. The winner will be crowned at the altiport of the French Pyrenees. The movie Tomorrow Never Dies in the James Bond series was filmed in this location before going on screen twenty years ago. The last kilometer has sections with a gradient of 16%! It'll be a crucial stage for the climbers with opportunities for the likes of Fabio Aru, Romain Bardet and Rigoberto Uran to attack race leader Chris Froome. It's also an occasion for Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana to remind how good they are as climbers. And Warren Barguil is extremely excited by the polka dot jersey…

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Km 64.0 - Côte de Capvern 7.7 kilometre-long climb at 3.1% - category 4
Km 111.5 - Col des Ares (797 m) 7.4 kilometre-long climb at 4.6% - category 2
Km 139.5 - Col de Menté (1 349 m) 6.9 kilometre-long climb at 8.1% - category 1
Km 184.0 - Port de Balès (1 755 m) 11.7 kilometre-long climb at 7.7% - category H
Km 209.5 - Col de Peyresourde (1 569 m) 9.7 kilometre-long climb at 7.8% - category 1
Km 214.5 - PEYRAGUDES (1 580 m) 2.4 kilometre-long climb at 8.4% - category 2
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I really like the port de bales but I just don't see anything happening there. Actually I don't even expect anything important to happen on the peyresurde and fear it will all come down to the last three kilometers.
But then again if there is anyone who really wants to beat froome and doesn't just ride for a podium he almost has to start taking risks, right? :eek:
 
Gigs_98 said:
I really like the port de bales but I just don't see anything happening there. Actually I don't even expect anything important to happen on the peyresurde and fear it will all come down to the last three kilometers.
But then again if there is anyone who really wants to beat froome and doesn't just ride for a podium he almost has to start taking risks, right? :eek:
Agreed. Maybe Bardet can ttry on the descent of Bales but I doubt it. Though I think Aru and Bardet will try on Peyresourde.
 
Jul 1, 2013
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Sky to destroy everyone's panache. Froome to gain some time. Contador to fall off. All GC wannabes to ride defensively and suffer like dogs at Sky wattage. Then everyone to do the same the next day.
 
Feb 21, 2017
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I could see a concerted ambush at Bales, maybe by a select group of contenders, if only to make Sky work hard early in the hopes that Froome catches a bad day. Wistful thinking on my part I'm sure.
 
Re:

Robert5091 said:
Sky to go full gas up Col de Peyresourde and unless Aru can get away, this race is over. How Uran and Nairo Q fare will be interesting.
You don't think Sky will be pushing it hard from a long way out, so the question is, without G, will they have the manpower to maintain that over the Mente and Bales to the extent that Froome will still have support on Peyresourde.

Movistar will almost certainly put men in the break. Astana and Trek probably will at least try too. Rolland will be trying to get in there, so the question will be if he's stage hunting, or running setup for Rigo.

The race may be a foregone conclusion, but Froome still has 4 opponents within a minute, a couple more within 2, and he's lost his number 1 dom and a very important ally in Porte. So there are enough factors in there to at least make him sweat tomorrow.

I just hope nobody stops to wait for him when he starts getting that really annoying creak from, I think it's the bottom bracket, can you hear that? It only happens when I really push on the pedals. No, I don't think it's the pedals, they're new, and I just greased the headset bearings. Look, hey guys, I know it's the biggest bike race in the world, but since I'm winning do you mind if I just stop here and get this really annoying rattle fixed?



Would you believe? It was a loose bottle cage bolt. I know, stupid right? Well thanks for waiting all the way up the biggest climb of the day, I'm going to attack you now, and show I was the strongest here all along.