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Vuelta a España Vuelta a España 2023, stage 13: Formigal - Col du Tourmalet, 134.7k

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Ok but whats the point of the (basically) downhill start?

Don't think the little kicker at the beginning is enough to get riders up the road.
The Tourmalet stage was in the 2020 route but had to be cancelled because of cross-boundary travel restrictions active at the time due to COVID. The stage was redesigned with the finish at Formigal. This stage starting at Formigal is presumably a gesture of gratitude from Unipublic for having hosted the 2020 stage on such a short notice.
For me, this is the best 3 stages combo in a GT for a really long time. Hardest MTF --->"easy" MTF with a really tough climb before---->tricky hilly stage before the rest day. Great job on the pacing.

As for tomorrow, the stage is really tough, buy I don't see anything happening before Tourmalet, I don't expect crazy gaps as noone (okay, except for Mas) has the incentive to go all or nothing, but this is the Vuelta and will see some attacks and perhaps moderate time gaps. Don't really see Jumbo going crazy, they don't really need that.
Could someone please glue themselves to the road somewhere (early) on the route?
Asking for a friend.
You have friends all over the Pyrenees.
Buchmann, Landa and Bernal should be the favourites. They are the only ones in the race who participated in the bunch sprint the last time a race finished on the Tourmalet.
It's bizarre that the best 6 climbers on that stage were Landa, bernal, buckman, pinot, Alaphilippe and Kruijsvijk. The pinnacle of stage racing, and those were the 6 best guys, only 4 years ago. How much has changed
Now that's a proper queen stage. Likely tops Morzine 1983 even

Every GT should have 1 of this type of stage
It tops everything, ever, by quite some margin. This is BY FAR harder than anything else we have seen.

The length of the stage, the altitude, no valley in between, the length of all the climbs, the percentages.. if you have 6 climbs linked up like this, and Izoard by far is the weakest one, you know what's up.