TdF stage 18 preview

Stage 18: Gap to Alpe d’Huez, 172.5km, high mountains

I hope you’ve booked the rest of the week off work because the next three mountain stages are going to be unmissable. Today’s stage takes the most iconic climb of the Tour de France and climbs it not once but twice. So it’s not 21 switchbacks, it’s 42 switchbacks – along with the other four climbs of the day. Continue reading

Giro stage 18: Nibbles rains on Evans’ parade

Stage 18: Mori to Polsa, 20.6km individual time trial

The sharp end of this technical, uphill time trial was always going to be when the top ten riders took off, as most of the other riders were just hoping to get their tired legs to the finish line. The top position changed hands a few times – from Steve Cummings (BMC) to Stef Clement (Blanco) to Cannondale’s Damiano Caruso – until Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) blazed through the course to set an excellent time that was only bested when the last rider came over the finish line. And that was Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) who beat Samu’s time by a jaw-dropping 58 seconds. Continue reading

Giro stage 18 preview

Stage 18: Mori to Polsa, 20.6km individual time trial

This is an uphill time trial which is steepest and twistiest towards the summit. The final 7km is constant climbing at 7-8% gradient after a couple of short, flattish sections mid-climb. That means the pure climbers won’t be at such a disadvantage relative to the time trial specialists, so we will see the gaps between the GC contenders measured in seconds rather than minutes. Continue reading