The GC guys will be battling from the very start today as they tackle 61.5km of climbs – the most of this year’s Tour.
Friday 24th July: Stage 19 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to La Toussuire-Les Sybelles, high mountains, 138km
It’s one of those shorter stages at 138km and it gets going right away with the cat 1 Col du Chaussy – the first time this climb has ever been seen at the Tour. A bit of a rolling little valley follows the descent but from kilometre 55 it’s three big climbs, one right after the other. The 22.4km Col de la Croix de Fer has an average gradient of 6.9% but as you can see in the middle of the climb, it jumps from 3% to 10% – a good place to attack, perhaps? Because attack is what is going to have to happen today for anyone hoping to be gatecrash the podium in Paris.
Another technical and fast descent – are there any other kind this week? – then straight into the climb of the cat 2 Col du Mollard. Again, the descent of this climb is one that’ll tighten a few people up, then they go straight into the 18km climb to the summit finish on La Toussuire.
It’s pretty steady throughout – the average gradient is 6.1% and there’s no section in double digits – and the final 3km doesn’t go above 5%. It’s going to be a hard day, it’s going to be fast and attacking, and we’ll see both triumph and tears by the end of the day.
Link: Official race website
Header image: The cross on the Col de la Croix de Fer (via Wikipedia)