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Call of the Cols

Meandering across l’Hexagone, the Tour is quintessentially French, taking in the full gamut of Gallic landscapes. But for most of us, the mountains are what matters. With the Tourmalet in the rear view mirror, this instalment of the digital Doppio takes a look at the remaining summit finishes on this year’s Tour.

16 July 2019


Col du Tourmalet

Part of Tour history since 1910, the Tourmalet has witnessed the race pass countless times but rarely witnesses a stage finish. If the last one in 2010 – a fog-shrouded fight between Contador and Schleck – is anything to go by, this will be a cracker. In honour of the Tour’s second race director Jacques Goddet, a prize of €5,000 goes to the winner. Pas mal!

Pyrenees


2115m
19km at 7.4%

Tip: Having the support of a billionaire helps when building the biggest budget in cycling. Every little helps – we reckon Ineos will be out in force for a little back pocket booster.


Prat d’Albis

By far the least illustrious name on this list, the Prat d’Albis climbs into the arid hills around Foix. This stage is no shortened stage stopper but a long, arduous one which will most probably be run in very hot conditions. The final climb is one of three first category ascents so fireworks on the general classification are all but assured.

PYRENEES

 

1205m
12km at 6.9%

Tip: A pleasant town with a maze of medieval streets at its centre, Foix is not far from the border with Spain and the Iberian influence is evident. We reckon this could be one for a beautiful Basque climber.


Montée de Tignes

Climbed all the way from Bourg Saint Maurice, this ascent is a 30km monster. The Tour takes in the final sting in the tail to the ski station but fear not, with the Iséran – the highest paved road in the Alps – to soften up the riders legs, this will provide a stern test. Last one up takes a dunk in the glacial waters of the Lac de Tignes.

ALPS

 

2113m
7.4km at 7%

The last man to win here was devious Dane Michael Rasmussen. Countryman Jakob Fuglsang has been on song this season and may well take flight on the final climb.


Val Thorens

In sharp contrast to the winter season at Europe’s highest ski resort, champagne will only be sprayed by a deserving stage winner rather than unseemly skiers. And when we say deserving, we really mean it with this final climb. Not the steepest but by far the longest in this year’s race, it makes a strong case for the title of the toughest, as riders at the Etape will find.

ALPS

 

2365m
33.4km at 5.5%

Climbing up past the ski lifts, we reckon Slovene former-ski jumper Primož Roglič will be reminded of a past life and stick the telemark landing to bring home the stage win.

Rapha Doppio

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