Stage 16: Vaison-la-Romaine to Gap, 168km, medium mountain
The boys have had a day to try to block out the horror of Ventoux, have a little lie-in before a training ride, perhaps some Henderson-Hansen hi-jinx for our Twitter entertainment. Now, they’re back in the saddle, clipped in and ready to go. This is what’s in store for them!
The boys limber up the legs with the Cote de la Montagne de Bluye, cat 3, 17km into the start of the stage. That’ll get the blood flowing for the next climb, the cat 2 Col de Macuegne. The peloton then rolls along until about 20km until the end, when they climb the Col de Manse (cat 2) and one hair-raising, motion-sickness-inducing, technical descent into Gap.
Ordinarily, we would expect the GC boys to be saving themselves and to see the winner come from either a long breakaway or a late attack on the ascent and/or descent of the Col de Manse. However, if anyone wants to seriously attack Chris Froome‘s advantage they cannot afford not to have a go on the final descent.
Bit of trivia: The Norse God of Thunder flew down the descent from the Col de Manse into Gap and won his second stage in the 2011 Tour. Thor Hushovd was in the rainbow jersey – it was really rather marvellous.
Link: Official website
Header picture: Bridge at Vaison-la-Romaine