Tour de France preview: Stage 16

It’s the day before the rest day and the peloton is making its way to the Alps for a final week of spectacular climbs. But it might not be the ascents that make the difference in the second longest stage of this year’s Tour.

Monday 20th July: Stage 16 – Bourg-de-Péage to Gap, rolling, 201km

Stage 16 profile: Tour de France 2015

This stage is on the up from kilometre zero, with the first descent from the cat 2 Col de Cabre at 130km. It’s gradually uphill again until the last 30km, which is a double-descent whammy into Gap, with the Col de Manse climb in between.

With descending possibly the only weakness that Chris Froome has, it’s likely that Sky will hold the peloton on a tight leash, even attacking on the final climb to ensure that they’re the first of the GC on the descent. His rivals will want to take advantage of these descents to try to gain whatever time they can on him – remember how Alberto Contador tried to put distance between himself and Froome in 2013 (and unfortunately crashed in front of him)? The final descent is technical at the best of times – if there’s any rain, it could be a hair-raising experience for them (and for us)!

Link: Official race website

Header image: Panoramic view of Gap (via Wikipedia) 

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