The final rest day of the Tour de France is gone and now the rider’s prepare for the final showdown as Le Tour enters the Alps.
Many thought the Tour would come down to a battle on the Alps, and it looks like that will be case as the riders have four extremely tough days to either look forward too or wince at.
It’s been a terrific Tour so far, we have seen it all, from the flame rouge collapsing, and the Maillot Jaune holder, Chris Froome (Team Sky) running up Mont Ventoux, but after all the racing has taken centre stage and with some superb performances this Tour will go down as a truly wonderful spectacle.
But with four days to go, this Tour still has time to put itself down as one of the best yet; we have seen records already broken, most notably Mark Cavendish (Dimension-Data) who overtook Bernard Hinault’s record of most stage victories. But the big news last night was that the Manxman is leaving the Tour to focus on the Rio Olympics, an event in which he hopes he can bring back a medal from.
But today should kick-off four days of attacks from the GC contenders; Adam Yates (Orica BikeExchange) spoke about his desire to attack Froome in the final days, and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) who is nearly three minutes down on the Briton also admitted he and his team is looking to attack Froome in the remaining stages.
Finhaut-Emosson the main attraction on Stage 17
The Alps are no stranger to the Tour; the race hits them every year, and they rarely disappoint. And this year the race director’s have allowed us four days of excitement, kicking off with today.
There are four categorised climbs kicking off with the Cote de Saanenmoser (6.6km, 4.8%), then three more follow, the Col des Mosses (6.4km, 4.4%), Col de la Forclaz (12.6km, 8.2%), and finally the Finhaut-Emosson (10.4km, 8.4%).
It will certainly be a day for the GC guys, whether a stage victory comes from one of them remains to be seen; but a breakaway could be the order of the day otherwise. But either way there is going to be drama as the Tour enters the final stretch.