Looks like a good stage for Astana - who can isolate most of the potential contenders from their teammates by pounding on the early climbs. They should easily be able to reach the bottom of the final climbs with AC and LA each having two helpers, then complete the shredding.Escarabajo said:The stage 17 to Grand Bornard looks very difficult.
It finishes on a descent but the last two climbs are very close together.
Km 140.5 - Col de Romme - 8.8 km climb to 8.9 % - Category 1
Km 154.5 - Col de la Colombière - 7.5 km climb to 8.5 % - Category 1
Total distance for the last two climbs is 16.3 km with higher than 8.5% gradient. That's tough. The small descent between both climbs is only 6.5 km.
Andy Schleck said before the tour that this would be one of the key stages. This stage along with the ITT and Ventoux will probably decide the race.
Just my two cents.
Anyone with a minute or two over the top of the last climb should be able to hold it on the 20k descent, especially if the chasers are mostly working independently too.