At first it starts off leisurely: at km 13.7 and 36.6 there are climbs to the Côte de Saint-Hilaire (Cat. 4) and to the Col de l’Espinas (Cat. 3) – apart from that, that’s it Uncomplicated terrain over long stretches. The intermediate sprint of the day takes place after 67.8 kilometers in Lavelanet.
After 113 kilometers, however, the picture changes abruptly – the Pyrenees greet the drivers: It goes up to Port de Lers (1st cat.) at an altitude of 1,517 meters. The way there leads over 11.4 kilometers and an average gradient of seven percent uphill.
From the summit, it descends 15 kilometers into the valley to the foot of the brutal Mur de Péguère, which has an average gradient of 7.9 percent over 9.4 kilometers. In the upper area, the climb is even up to 18 percent steep and the last three kilometers are no longer in single digits.
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The mountain classification will be taken 27.2 kilometers from the finish. From then on, the path leads almost exclusively downhill in the direction of the day’s destination in Foix. In 2017 there was an identical arrival via the Mur de Péguère. Back then, Warren Barguil won the stage in a breakaway sprint ahead of Nairo Quintana and Alberto Contador.
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If you want to be the first to cross the finish line in Foix, you have to be one of the best climbers in the world. Because the selection at the top of the race is made on the brutally difficult Mur de Péguère at the top – both in a breakaway group and in the field of favorites.
In the latter it can be assumed that Tadej Pogacar will attack in the steepest ramps of the Mur de Péguère and try to cause problems for Jonas Vingegaard. Because even if there are still 27 kilometers to the finish from the top, Pogacar comes down the descent well and the last ten rather flat kilometers to the finish should not deter him.
The day’s win should probably go to a climber from the breakaway group of the day. That’s why the first third of the stage, which is only slightly bumpy, will become an eternal hunt until this group comes to a standstill.
Candidates for victory are then primarily drivers who have recently been seen more often in top groups – such as Michael Woods (Israel – Premier Tech) or Neilson Powless and Rigoberto Uran (both EF Education – EasyPost).
Bora-hansgrohe’s Russian captain Aleksandr Vlasov also presented himself with an improving form curve over the weekend. If he could continue this trend on the rest day, he too would be a good candidate for the day’s success.
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