Tour de France 2020 | Stage 17 (Grenoble - Méribel Col de la Loze, 170 km)

After the peloton got to taste the air of the Alps for the first time today, tomorrow they will finally truly arrive in the high mountains. What awaits is one of the hardest passes in France, the Col de la Madeleine, and the undoubtedly (or maybe not) hardest climb in the history of the Tour de France, the Col de la Loze.

Profile:


Map:


Timetable:

Start: 12:30
Intermediate Sprint: 13:53/13:48/13:44
Col de la Madeleine: 15:45/15:34/15:24
Finish: 17:38/17:21/17:05

Climbs:
First on the Menu tomorrow is the Col de la Madeleine, one of the Alps most famous passes, regularly used in the Tour, however last used from this side back in 2013. Back then Pierre Rolland took the maximum k.o.m. points at the top something he his certain to try again. The climb should have featured in the grand finale of last years Tour but was victim to the shortening of stage 20. A year later it finally makes its return albeit quite far out and looking at the final climb with relatively little chance of moves from the main gc guys.


That however was the easier climb of the day as the stage finishes on a completely new climb, that has actually only been paved a few years back. The Col de la Loze is a pass that connects the famous skiing areas of Méribel and Courchevel, although of course the riders never descend down to Courchevel on this route. The profile doesn't look that bad as long as they stay on the old road to the town of Méribel, but once they arrive on the new road it's getting steeper and steeper with the last 5 km having an average gradient of 10%. That on well over 2000 metres of altitude should be a good recipe for carnage. Let's hope the riders will deliver.


General classification after Stage 16
  1. Primoz Roglic
  2. Tadej Pogacar + 0.40
  3. Rigoberto Uran + 1.34
  4. Miguel Ángel López + 1.45
  5. Adam Yates + 2.03
  6. Richie Porte + 2.13
  7. Mikel Landa + 2.16
  8. Enric Mas + 3.15
  9. Tom Dumoulin + 5.19
  10. Nairo Quintana + 5.43
Points classification after Stage 16
  1. Sam Bennett 269
  2. Peter Sagan 224
  3. Matteo Trentin 212
  4. Bryan Coquard 166
  5. Caleb Ewan 158
Mountains classification after Stage 16
  1. Benoît Cosnefroy 36
  2. Pierre Rolland 36
  3. Tadej Pogacar 34
  4. Primoz Roglic 33
  5. Nans Peters 32
Young riders classification after Stage 16
  1. Tadej Pogacar
  2. Enric Mas + 2.35
  3. Egan Bernal + 18.24
  4. Valentin Madouas + 1.20.34
  5. Daniel Felipe Martinez + 1.23.51
 
Boy do I hope Pogacar can drop Roglic on this one. The climb looks really, really tough so if he's stronger it should be possible. Only questionmark is whether any team will be able to decimate the peloton a bit because Pogacar's team sure as hell won't. As Astana didn't really do anything today but Lopez attacked on the final climb I'm really hoping they are planning something. The podium is in their reach.
 
Reactions: spalco
Quintana will try something; what that something is, I don't know. Guillaume Martin will attack.

I actually think Pogacar will take yellow here. In the last 5km, Roglic will have Dumoulin and maybe Kuss. At 10% and 2000m there's no hiding, and something that should be noted is that whenever Pogacar attacks, Roglic jumps directly on to his wheel instead of using his team. What does that tell us? Perhaps it tells us that Roglic knows his team isn't strong enough to chase him. It could be naivety from Roglic though - if it's mano a mano, Pogacar has a chance to crack him.

Let's see tomorrow, but I have a strong feeling that Pogacar will attack with 5km to go, and suddenly the Jumbo train disappears. Whenever he attacks, there's only two men in the race. They're both Slovenian.
 
Reactions: Rollthedice
Obviously a monster stage. Hoping LRP can continue to shine and now we are into week three so who knows? Maybe harder for Jumbo to control. Possibly Lopez might try something at over 2,000 metres. But as this happens at about 1am my time I will wake up and see the results.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
So tough they will be careful in trying to attack early... risking blowing themselves up.

I think everybody will try to survive. Maybe someone will try in the end if having something left.

I can see everyone just dropping off. One by one. If someone drops early. Then its over. It will be a lot of minutes.
 
Finally! The Queen stage with two most difficult climbs of the race. Legendary Col de la Madeleine (with over 1500 m of climbing and over 8% of average grade) is among hardest climbs ever used in the Tour. And still it's the easier of the two. Col de la Loze is a new Tour monster: almost 1700 m of climbing and average grade approaching 8%, with last 5 km at 10% (including some brutal sections). Probably hardest climb in Tour history. It's the best stage for GC contenders to fight for victory and podium places as time is running out! If not tomorrow then when? I'm expecting intersting action on the last climb and Pogacar should be determined to try to unseat Roglic. Bring it on!
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
So there are 20% pitches in the final 5km. Glorified Bola del Mundo it is then.

In before the GC guys come in minutes away from each other just to prove me wrong cause my hot takes are only right when I'm trolling.
Honestly, Bola del Mundo isn't that much different than Tre Cime from Cortina (if you use it without the Giau first)
Similar altitude, similar length of the final steep part and Tre Cime also goes up to 18/19%.
I kinda wish we'd see Bola del Mundo more often, they haven't used it since 2012 (when they also had Cuitu Negru, the goattrack to finish all goattracks).
 
Reactions: Red Rick
Honestly, Bola del Mundo isn't that much different than Tre Cime from Cortina (if you use it without the Giau first)
Similar altitude, similar length of the final steep part and Tre Cime also goes up to 18/19%.
I kinda wish we'd see Bola del Mundo more often, they haven't used it since 2012 (when they also had Cuitu Negru, the goattrack to finish all goattracks).
I'm also surprised we've seen neither since 2012. But Bola is probably more important cause it's in a region that seems to lack other hard MTFs or super decisive passes, though the 2019 stage there was pretty good.

And if Roglic and Pogacar party like Nibali and Mosquera in 2010 it's a pretty damn good 20 minutes.
 

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