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Tour de France 2019 stage 17: Pont du Gard > Gap 200 km

Today's sprint stage with a second victory to Caleb Ewan, while GC contender Jakob Fuglsang abandoned the race after a crush. Tomorrow, the 17th stage is a hilly transition stage to Gap. 200 km in which the landscape changes, as the riders leave the Rhône river valley and heads towards the Alps.



The start goes at Pont du Gard for the first time in the history of the Tour, which lies between Nîmes and the old Papal territory Avignon. It is a Roman aqueduct, which was constructed to carry water to the French Rome, which the peloton started and finished at today, Nîmes.



Even though there aren't many points to take to the KOM classification, there is reason to believe that a stage win by a breakaway is likely. Because the finishing town is the well-known city with regards to the Tour; Gap. Latest finish was in 2015, where Ruben Plaza won in front of Peter Sagan and current retiree Jarlinson Pantano from a breakaway.



Rui Costa has won here too from a breakaway in 2013. Little did he know, that he was a soon-to-be WC winner. As with Ruben Plaza, it was a solo win in front of a group containing Klöden, and Riblon who won on the Alpe d'Huez a few days later. Trailing behind this pursuiting group, 2017 Giro d'Italia winner Tom Dumoulin finished 6th.



Alexandre Vinokourov, Thor Hushovd and Erik Zabel among others have won here.
As with the the later years' finish in Gap, it is a descent finish after riding a lesser category climb, e.g. Col de Manse. This year, however, it is 5,2 km long Col de la Sentinelle (cat 3) at an incline of 5,4%. It was crested by the riders roughly every second year in the 50's, but perhaps fell out of favor, because it was only visited by the Tour 3 times over a time span of 36 years. Since 1996, it has featured once per decade, latest in 2006.



Perhaps Sagan will go in the break as he did in 2015, if not for the stage win, maybe the points sprint then, which lies 62 kms after the start:




Profile:




General classification on before stage 17:

1. Julian ALAPHILIPPE (DQS)
2. Geraint THOMAS (INEOS) + 1'35''
3. Steven KRUIJSWIJK (Jumbo) + 1'47''
4. Thibaut PINOT (FDJ) + 1'50''
5. Egan BERNAL (INEOS) + 2'02''
6. Emanuel BUCHMANN (Bora) + 2'14''
7. Mikel LANDA (Movistar) + 4'54''
8. Alejandro VALVERDE (Movistar) + 5'00''
9. Rigoberto URAN (EF1) + 5'33''
10. Richie PORTE (Trek) + 6'30''

Green jersey competition:

1. Peter SAGAN (Bora) 309
2. Elia VIVIANI (DQS) 224
3. Sonny COLBRELLI (Merida) 203
4. Michael MATTHEWS (Sunweb) 201
5. Caleb EWAN (Lotto) 198

Polka-dot jersey competition:

1. Tim WELLENS (Lotto) 64
2. Thibaut PINOT (FDJ) 50
3. Thomas DE GENDT (Lotto) 37
4. Julian ALAPHILIPPE (DQS) 33
5. Giulio CICCONE (Trek) 30

Youth classification:

1. Egan BERNAL (INEOS)
2. David GAUDU (FDJ) + 12'29''
3. Enric MAS (DQS) + 33'16''

Weather at the finish line

 
Re:

hfer07 said:
Alaphilippe can well win the stage & lengthen his time gap to G & Bernal IF he wants to...
otherwise a breakaway can manage
Doubt that. Last 2 times the chasing wasn't really commited. This won't happen a 3rd time.
 
Jun 22, 2019
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Re: Re:

F_Cance said:
hfer07 said:
Alaphilippe can well win the stage & lengthen his time gap to G & Bernal IF he wants to...
otherwise a breakaway can manage
Doubt that. Last 2 times the chasing wasn't really commited. This won't happen a 3rd time.
There is only like 10 kms from the top to the end and i think it is only the last 3 kms that is flat. He should defo go for it but he may pay for it on the Galibier, no team can really control it so if Ala goes maybe Pinot goes and they gain time.
 
Jun 22, 2019
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I can see someone losing big time hear for some reason, happens often if it is raced hard and attacks go off i think someone will lose time. Pinot should attack, G is the danger man. If G's shape is improving people are gonna regret not burying him. I can honestly see G winning this Tour i would be physically sick if it happend. I hope Egan drops him like a stone.
 
There will be a war to get into that break. Matthews and Sagan should both be there, Trentin too. Will depend if they can hang on when the climbers and hilly types put it on at Sentinelle. Lulu, fraile, GVA, Calmejane and others will all like this stage.
 
MatParker117 said:
fauniera said:
Classic Lulu territory. Or Matthews. (Or Sagan obviously.)

Will be huge fight to get into the break.
Could see Bora, Sunweb, CCC & Bahrain keeping a lid on things
I don't think they will control the break if that's what you suggest. The cost of the huge amount of work needed to control for almost 200km far outweighs the potential of anyone of them winning a reduced sprint with their sprinters. Sonny C, Sagan and co. are not even certain to survive the climb in the end.
 
Mar 6, 2011
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Cance > TheRest said:
MatParker117 said:
fauniera said:
Classic Lulu territory. Or Matthews. (Or Sagan obviously.)

Will be huge fight to get into the break.
Could see Bora, Sunweb, CCC & Bahrain keeping a lid on things
I don't think they will control the break if that's what you suggest. The cost of the huge amount of work needed to control for almost 200km far outweighs the potential of anyone of them winning a reduced sprint with their sprinters. Sonny C, Sagan and co. are not even certain to survive the climb in the end.
I think Bora could be fairly confident Sagan will get over the line but it would be so tough to try and control it single handedly. Particularly as the break will probably be huge. It would probably be easier to stick someone in the break and hope for the best
 
Sagan might actually try to sneak into the break for this stage. He did the same in 2015 and almost won. Expect a big break and a good battle for the stage win. Unfortunately though I don't expect anything gc relevant to happen. With the Col de Manse you always had the chance that someone would try something. This is after all where the madness of the final week of the 2011 tour started.
 
Jul 24, 2015
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Re:

Midnightfright said:
Lulu and Lutsenko are both excellent shots but to try and be different I'm going to go with EBH or Tony Gallopin
Eddy Boss won't forget being outsmarted by Hushovd in Gap. But hasn't been in shape, like the rest of Dimension Data.
 
Mar 6, 2011
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Norbea said:
Midnightfright said:
Lulu and Lutsenko are both excellent shots but to try and be different I'm going to go with EBH or Tony Gallopin
Eddy Boss won't forget being outsmarted by Hushovd in Gap. But hasn't been in shape, like the rest of Dimension Data.
It was exactly that stage I considered, I agree he hasnt looked in great form. Hes a good descended though so if he drags himself over the final climb I could see him finishing with the final group
 

Wvv

Jan 3, 2019
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Last chance for allrounders and classic riders. I hope GVA finds some strong legs.
Would be awesome if Alaphilippe tried to gain some time here, but probably not gonna happen.
 

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