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TdF 2017: Stage 18 Briançon - Izoard, 179.5kms *Spoilers*

above_the_cowsabove_the_cows Posts: 11,318
edited July 2017 in Pro race
Well, well, well. It's all a little to close to call between 2nd and 3rd and Froome's yellow jumper is by no means secure. It's still all to play for as Bling seals the deal on the green jumper after Kidl abandons on stage 17.

And so we head into the final mountain stage with one of the few MTFs we've seen this Tour. 179.5km from the highest city in the European Union to the Col du Izoard.

From here...
IMG_1893_zpsqsmmlvn8.jpg

...to here.
IMG_1920_zpsw2fnyaze.jpg

So the route goes something like this:

CARTE.jpg

While the profile looks like this:

PROFIL.png

The climbs zoals dit:

PROFILCOLSCOTES_1.png

PROFILCOLSCOTES_2.png

Sitting at the confluence of five valleys the start town of Briançon is the highest city in the European Union and its old walled city is a Unesco World Heritage Site, while the surrounding forts make the area as a whole a fascinating one historically if one is into strategic geographical stuff.

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To be continued...
Correlation is not causation.
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Posts

  • above_the_cowsabove_the_cows Posts: 11,318
    edited July 2017
    ...Continued.

    The old city's main thoroughfare is a tourist trap but is on a very steep slope with a small river running down the middle of it. There are little gems to be found away from the main street however that the coach trips never seem to find.

    Bar terraces with lovely views.

    IMG_5110_zpspitilwu5.jpg

    IMG_5111_zpst7ytmduk.jpg

    And I can thoroughly recommend the square by the church for a good drink and dinner. The strange man and the donkey are extra.

    IMG_1971_zpstvqyaas4.jpg

    The local priest is also rather handsome and rides a motorbike, if you're into that kind of thing. Many of the local women can be seen demonstrably sighing in sadness when he passes as they ponder what might have been, meanwhile the dishy priest's parents like a good glass of red and are very friendly. Top ethnographic insights from ATC on this one folks.

    If you stay long enough you will be treated to some wicked home distilled Genepi.

    IMG_1980_zps65zarxvw.jpg

    As promised some car parking advice. The car park Champ de Mars by the top gate into the walled city the Porte de Pignerol fills up early with day trippers and you need to find a spot in creative ways. A word of warning with the ticket machine. If you want a week ticket (a very reasonable €25) you need to wait at least half an hour before putting the ticket you are given upon entry into the machine to select week ticket because the first 30 mins is free and you will loose the ticket and then have to pay for a 'lost' ticket in order to get out of the car park. Trust me on this folks, its very logical once you figure it out, but be warned.

    As for the stage they head down the Durance valley for the first 70kms or so. For those wanting a nice, interesting up and back climb with some nasty ramps I recommend the climb up to the Pré de Madame Carle beyond Pelvoux. Here you are right in the heart of the Barre des Écrins and there is a wonderful glacial stream and omlettes the size of a small child.

    IMG_5094_2_zpssax7tkkk.jpg

    The Izoard, topping out at 2,360m, is climbed from the harder southern side that shows off its moonscape to the full.

    IMG_5187_zpsayjpgiaq.jpg

    IMG_5186_2_zpswbj4ad9v.jpg
    Correlation is not causation.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 18,209
    "The Izoard is a 14.1 kilometres climb that is averaging 7.3%. The last 10 kilometres go up at 9% and lead to the forbidding and barren slopes of Casse Déserte. A perfect and dramatic backdrop for the last summit finish in the 2017 Tour de France."

    6775cb6b9bf5c5a15e3dacdb33e480f1.jpg
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • above_the_cowsabove_the_cows Posts: 11,318
    Izoard recovery food.

    IMG_1950_zps28ddosbj.jpg
    Correlation is not causation.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,220
    Izoard recovery food.

    IMG_1950_zps28ddosbj.jpg
    *salivates*...........
  • above_the_cowsabove_the_cows Posts: 11,318
    Froome in the Casse Déserte.

    latest?cb=20150521141806
    Correlation is not causation.
  • Sun DodgerSun Dodger Posts: 393
    The first climb has the best name ever. Quite sad Marcel K can't stop for a pic at the top...
  • So, Froome to actually get a stage win here?
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,210
    Not as hard overall as today's stage and a mountain top finish. I think your going to see Sky keeping any breakaway gap manageable and then Froome going for a win at the top of the Izoard. He'll want to put more time into Uran and win a stage which will also yield a time bonus anyway. There is also a relatively easy stage on Friday to rest up for the TT on Saturday.
  • specialgueststarspecialgueststar Posts: 3,369
    edited July 2017
    Starting stage 18

    FdJ - Mollard , Le Gac, Cimolai...... err that's it....

    Ag2r - all nine

    Cofidis - all nine

    Wanty - all nine

    Fortuneo - all nine ( OK 8 now - McClay did all he could)

    :?
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,490
    Starting stage 18

    FdJ - Mollard , Le Gac, Cimolai...... err that's it....

    Ag2r - all nine

    Wanty - all nine

    :?
    Will Bahrain Merida be starting or are they going to skip it like the previous 17 stages?
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • RonBRonB Posts: 3,984
    I see what you did there. Cofidis just sneak away from the radar in that post Rich?
  • The_BoyThe_Boy Posts: 3,099
    RichN95 wrote:
    Starting stage 18

    FdJ - Mollard , Le Gac, Cimolai...... err that's it....

    Ag2r - all nine

    Wanty - all nine

    :?
    Will Bahrain Merida be starting or are they going to skip it like the previous 17 stages?

    They remind me of lamprey a few years back when they were anonymous all tour before getting dragged into an Italian court case around doping. Some wag's tour review contained a sentence along the lines of "Lamprey rode the tour as if they were hiding from the police, and it turns out they were."
    Team My Man 2018: David gaudu, Pierre Latour, Romain Bardet, Thibaut pinot, Alexandre Geniez, Florian Senechal, Warren Barguil, Benoit Cosnefroy
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,490
    RonB wrote:
    I see what you did there. Cofidis just sneak away from the radar in that post Rich?
    I occasionally notice them. Cofidis have been worse. They once failed to come in the top ten on any stage and had no rider in the top 50 on GC.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,330
    Izoard recovery food.

    IMG_1950_zps28ddosbj.jpg

    Why the hell is that cheese working on its tan?
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,784
    Izoard recovery food.

    IMG_1950_zps28ddosbj.jpg

    Why the hell is that cheese working on its tan?

    Peasant.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,330
    iainf72 wrote:
    Izoard recovery food.

    IMG_1950_zps28ddosbj.jpg

    Why the hell is that cheese working on its tan?

    Peasant.

    I'll have you know we eat loads of Raclette in my household.

    Holding a cheese string over a tealight's the same thing, right?
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,490
    This stage is a classic Sky stage. Not much trouble early on - let the right break go. Kiryienka to take them up the first climb, maybe some help needed. Then Henao, Nieve & Kwiatkowski string it out. Landa puts everyone in the red and Froome rides off with 4km to go. He gets a gap and the podium guys start looking at each other. Landa tags on the back of them, and takes a bit of time at the end.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,310
    Feel thoroughly underwhelmed by this Tour - the close GC suggests an exciting battle but really just reflects the lack of action. I'm not expecting anything different today.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,220
    Feel thoroughly underwhelmed by this Tour - the close GC suggests an exciting battle but really just reflects the lack of action. I'm not expecting anything different today.
    I think it's overwhelmed compared to the dire predictions of the route.

    What were you expecting? How are you underwhelmed by a route everyone was saying would be rubbish?
  • verylonglegsverylonglegs Posts: 3,640
    RichN95 wrote:
    This stage is a classic Sky stage. Not much trouble early on - let the right break go. Kiryienka to take them up the first climb, maybe some help needed. Then Henao, Nieve & Kwiatkowski string it out. Landa puts everyone in the red and Froome rides off with 4km to go. He gets a gap and the podium guys start looking at each other. Landa tags on the back of them, and takes a bit of time at the end.

    A fair prediction apart from the Henao bit, unless he transforms overnight I suspect his appearance at the front will be met with guffaws amongst the leading bunch.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,490
    RichN95 wrote:
    This stage is a classic Sky stage. Not much trouble early on - let the right break go. Kiryienka to take them up the first climb, maybe some help needed. Then Henao, Nieve & Kwiatkowski string it out. Landa puts everyone in the red and Froome rides off with 4km to go. He gets a gap and the podium guys start looking at each other. Landa tags on the back of them, and takes a bit of time at the end.

    A fair prediction apart from the Henao bit, unless he transforms overnight I suspect his appearance at the front will be met with guffaws amongst the leading bunch.
    He'll get over that first mountain and then do the initial bit.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • Vino'sGhostVino'sGhost Posts: 4,129
    The local priest is also rather handsome and rides a motorbike, if you're into that kind of thing. Many of the local women can be seen demonstrably sighing in sadness when he passes as they ponder what might have been (had he not been chasing the alter boys"
  • Vino'sGhostVino'sGhost Posts: 4,129
    Im hoping that Uran hangs on or even takes a few seconds then decimates Froome in the TT. A cycling David and Goliath moment.

    Unless David PED CHEAT Miller is going to get something from it.
  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 4,674
    Those that did the Etape Du Tour on Sunday will have a several OMG moments today, when they see how they did compared to the pros!;)
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,596
    Feel thoroughly underwhelmed by this Tour - the close GC suggests an exciting battle but really just reflects the lack of action. I'm not expecting anything different today.


    There's been as much action as in recent years it's just that in recent years Froome has managed to make an early attack stick and Quintana has managed to gain some back later. This year everyone has been much closer matched so no major time gains.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 14,056
    RichN95 wrote:
    This stage is a classic Sky stage. Not much trouble early on - let the right break go. Kiryienka to take them up the first climb, maybe some help needed. Then Henao, Nieve & Kwiatkowski string it out. Landa puts everyone in the red and Froome rides off with 4km to go. He gets a gap and the podium guys start looking at each other. Landa tags on the back of them, and takes a bit of time at the end.

    A fine plan for Sky if Froome is the strongest. Less fine if he is found wanting.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 18,209
    The weather forecast has changed a bit overnight, not that these Tour forecasts have been that accurate.
    The is rain now forecast on the Izoard. A cross tailwind for most of the journey back towards Briançon.

    etape_18.gif
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,310
    Pross wrote:
    Feel thoroughly underwhelmed by this Tour - the close GC suggests an exciting battle but really just reflects the lack of action. I'm not expecting anything different today.


    There's been as much action as in recent years it's just that in recent years Froome has managed to make an early attack stick and Quintana has managed to gain some back later. This year everyone has been much closer matched so no major time gains.


    Well you say that and Sky's iron grip on the race is not unique but my memory is of challengers at least willing to test them a bit more not put in one short lived dig in the final km of the last climb and think job done.

    In Uran's case he hasn't even done that, I mean I find Uran likeable much like most people but whenyou look at how he's ridden he's appeared comfortable yet never taken a risk. Ok so he's likely to get a podium position, good for him but not for the race.

    Is anyone looking forwards to today's stage with any anticipation? If it weren't for Contador and a Froome mechanical we'd have had virtually nothing.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • ridgeriderridgerider Posts: 2,843
    1. I'm feeling some anger from ATC regarding car parking issues.

    2. I hope the tour organisers put some marshals on that little short cut between start and finish towns.
    Half man, Half bike
  • above_the_cowsabove_the_cows Posts: 11,318
    The weather forecast has changed a bit overnight, not that these Tour forecasts have been that accurate.
    The is rain now forecast on the Izoard. A cross tailwind for most of the journey back towards Briançon.

    etape_18.gif

    Ugh the Izoard in the rain is grim. It will be a real shame if the final mountain of the Tour is shrouded in clouds. We'll miss the spectacle.
    Correlation is not causation.
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