Forum home Road cycling forum Pro race

TDF 2018, Stage 17: Bagnères-de-Luchon > Saint-Lary-Soulan Col du Portet 25/07/2018 - 65 km *Spo

blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 19,190
edited July 2018 in Pro race
Bagnères-de-Luchon > Saint-Lary-Soulan Col du Portet 25/07/2018 - Stage 17 - 65 km

The 17th stage of the Tour de France goes to the summit of the Col du Portet. The route is only 65 kilometres long, but 38 kilometres run uphill. Although being the shortest road stage of the 2018 Tour, this could very well turn out to be the hardest. The race ends with a sweeping 16 kilometres haul to the top of the Portet.
Christian Prudhomme says it's the shortest non-TT stage for more than 30 years, and should lead to a race which is 'dynamite'. The climbs are the Col de Peyresourdes/Montée de Peyragudes, the Col de Val Louron-Azet, and the Col de Portet.
The shortest stage in last year’s Tour went to Foix and was a sensational ride. The race offered fireworks from start to finish before Warren Barguil outsprinted Nairo Quintana, Albert Contador and Mikel Landa on the line.

stage-17-route.jpg?01

stage-17-tdf-2018-profile.jpg

The start will be like a Formula One race, or cyclo-cross. The innovative start has been introduced because the organisers expect fireworks from the start of what is a very short stage.

Video of how it will work.
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6nks2m

There's to be space at the start for every team to warm up on rollers, so that no neutralised section is needed. Then comes the special start-line arrangement. The yellow jersey will be front and centre, with the second-placed rider a few metres to his left, and the third-placed rider a few metres to his right - and so on, with the top ten riders on the front row of the grid.

On the next row will be numbers 11 to 20 in the GC. Numbers 21 to 40 will be in a pen behind the first twenty riders, and after that there'll be forty riders per pen.

The first climb is the Peyresourde/Peyragudes. 'Whoever wants to sprint to the foot of the Col de Peyresourde can do so. Whichever leader prefers to wait for his team mates can do that too - at his own risk,' says the man responsible for the route, Thierry Gouvenou.

stage-17-peyragudes.jpg

The Col de Peyresourde has featured in the Tour many times since Octave Lapize was first to the top in 1910. In 2014, Vasil Kiryienka led over the summit. In 2016 (Stage 8), the riders tackled the Peyresourde from the other side (the west), then there was a descent to the finish at Bagnères-de-Luchon, where Chris Froome's crazy descending style won him much admiration and the stage. Straight after the Col de Peyresourde, and counting as part of the same categorised climb, comes the bonus of the Montée de Peyragudes - the steep ramp of the altiport which was the finish of Stage 12 of the 2017 Tour. Chris Froome struggled as Romain Bardet won the stage, and Fabio Aru took the yellow jersey. That's no doubt part of the reason why this climb is on the itinerary again, but will it cause problems for Froome second time around?

col-de-peyresourde.jpg

gallery_1_4_60380.jpg?ssl=1

After the Montée de Peyragudes comes the descent to the Lac de Génos-Loudenvielle and to the village of Loudenvielle (which has thermal sulphur waters at Balnéa). (The suffix -vielle in the names of villages here comes from the Latin villa, meaning a farm or rural dwelling). Loudenvielle is the location of the day's intermediate sprint, although it's doubtful it will be won by a sprinter.

lac-de-genos-loudenvielle.jpg

The second climb is the Col de Val Louron-Azet, which is a 7.4 kilometres toil at 8.3%. The KOM points are up for grabs where Claudio Chiappucci took a stage victory back in 1991. This time, the riders have 38 kilometres left to race.

climb-profile-val-louron-azet.jpg

ob_ae57a9_0099.jpg

The route then descends to the village of Saint-Lary-Soulan. Saint-Lary-Soulan - meaning the sunny place of St Hilary - is a spa and ski resort. The ski area is to the west of Saint-Lary, as far as the lac de l'Oule, at Pla-d'Adet. West is the direction the race now takes, for the climb to the finish, which is the extremely demanding closing climb to the summit of the Col du Portet. The 16 kilometres ascent is averaging 8.7%, while the second, third ánd last kilometre are the steepest sectors, all with double digits gradients. Only one moment of respite for the tired legs when the climb flattens out to a false flat after 7 kilometres. Yet, this section is only 400 metres…

stage-17-col-de-portet.jpg

stage-17-finish-detail.jpg?02

The-Col-Collective-TDF-2018-Stage-17-Recon-14.jpg

pyr_15.jpg

The publicity caravan sets off from Bagnères-de-Luchon at 1255, and the peloton at 1515. The estimated average speeds are 26, 28, and 30kmh, and depending on which is the most accurate, the riders should arrive at the finish line between 1723 and 1744cet.

Favourites 17th stage 2018 Tour de France

*** Nairo Quintana, Warren Barguil, Romain Bardet, Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome
** Primoz Roglic, Adam Yates, Robert Gesink, Tom Dumoulin
* Rafal Majka, Mikel Landa, Steven Kruijswijk, David Gaudu, Egan Bernal etc.

The team hotels for this stage.

stage-17-hotel.jpg?01

Bagnères-de-Luchon

See that last stage thread.

Saint-Lary-Soulan Col du Portet

10 previous stages

Commune of Hautes-Pyrénées (65)

855 inhabitants (Saint-laryens or Saints-hilairiens)

229,000 inhabitants within the department’s 470 communes

St Lary-Soulan was mainly the creation of a man, Vincent Mir, who became the resort’s mayor in 1945 and decided after WWII to turn his valley and his hamelt into an international ski resort. While few believed in his project, the stubborn mountaineer, whose family came from Aragon in Spain, never gave up. In 1954, he obtained the rights from the prefecture to install a ski lift. Three years later, the ski resort received its first visitors. Six years later, it joined forces with the village of Soulan to multiply by three the surface of the skiing domain. The region already had a legendary ski champion in Francois Vignole, who has won a world medal in 1935. Vignole looked after Vincent Mir’s daughter Isabelle and turned her into one of the best downhill skiers in the world. In late 1967, shortly before the Grenoble Olympics, the French alpine skiing team trained in St Lary for lack of snow in the Alps. The result was sensational as the likes of Jean-Claude Killy, Marielle Goitschel and of course Isabelle Mir and another Pyrenees skier, Amnie Famose, collected titles and medals. While Vincent Mir was proud of “Mirabelle”, he was more of a rugby man and two members of the family, Jean-Henri Mir and Jean-Pierre Mir, played for then leading club FC Lourdes and for France. Jean-Henri was part of the French team who achieved a Grand Slam victory in the 1968 Five Nations Championship. He took over from Vincent as St Lary’s mayor in 1991 and continued to develop the resort. His leading councillor is cousin André Mir while one of the best-known hotels in town, Hotel Mir of course, is run by Jean-Marie, another cousin. On the ski slopes, while Jordi Mir had a brief national career in the 1990s, the baton passed to the Delerue family with Xavier and Paul-Henri, both snowboard Olympic or world medallists.

Sensoria is a health centre in the centre of St Lary. Its spa is a replica of the Spanish canyons of Sierra de Guara and visitors can relax between waterfalls, streams and massaging baths.

f20f3

SAINT-LARY-SOULAN AND CYCLING

In the summer, the ski resort turns into a haven for cyclists and especially Tour de France riders, who regularly visited St Lary. In 1976, Lucien Van Impe won the stage that would prove decisive in his conquest of the yellow jersey. From the start in St Gaudens, the Belgian believed in his chances: “When I’m in shape, I drink very little. It’s bad for the stomach. In the morning, I left St Gaudens with only one bottle and it’s still half-full,” he said at the finish. Van Impe also scored vital KOM points in St Lary in 1981. Other climbers to have made a major impact in town were Mariano Martinez (1978) or more recently Rafal Majka (2014), at Pla d’Adet.

Specialities: black pork of Bigorre, spit cake, garbure (soup) and Pyrenean recipes.

Spit cake.

p04zcq4g.jpg
"Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
«13456721

Posts

  • ddraverddraver Posts: 24,046
    I ve no idea what Spit Cake it is but OMG I want some!!
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,210
    ddraver wrote:
    I ve no idea what Spit Cake it is but OMG I want some!!

    It's what the French serve up to Sky!
  • ProssPross Posts: 31,539
    I’ll be in the bar ready for the start of this one then. All being well I can make one pint of over-priced Heineken last the whole stage!
  • dish_dashdish_dash Posts: 5,319
    what time is kick off?
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 19,190
    dish_dash wrote:
    what time is kick off?

    The kick off time is to be found in OP. :wink:

    This stage promises to deliver real....
    firework-gif1.gif

    From the gun, the road goes straight up and the peloton will....

    tumblr_mfiabv9MLM1qg39ewo1_500.gif
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • onyourrightonyourright Posts: 509
    “The first climb is the Peyresourde/Peyragudes. 'Whoever wants to sprint to the foot of the Col de Peyresourde can do so. Whichever leader prefers to wait for his team mates can do that too - at his own risk,' says the man responsible for the route, Thierry Gouvenou.”

    The guy should know, but to me it seems far-fetched to expect the GC guys to immediately sprint and just keep charging for 65 km. And it’s hardly a grave risk to wait for your team to assemble on roads that are of normal width and steeply uphill. So I think this starting grid will have no effect on the race unless it causes an unlikely pile-up as breakaway hopefuls pretend they’re F1 cars.

    Still, it should be a good race. Today’s long and fairly fast stage will have taken a lot more out of the pure climbers than the likes of Dumoulin.
  • onyourrightonyourright Posts: 509
    Has the gravel seen in a photo above been asphalted?
  • gsk82gsk82 Posts: 3,142
    edited July 2018
    Has the gravel seen in a photo above been asphalted?

    Apparently 6km of tarmac has been added and was completed 3 weeks ago.

    In other road surface news the bottom of the tourmalet descent has been resurfaced today ready for Friday.
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • onyourrightonyourright Posts: 509
    I heard there was new tarmac somewhere, but does anyone know if a portion of gravel road remains?
  • darkhairedlorddarkhairedlord Posts: 7,167
    whats the betting on froome crashing off his rollers during the warm up or dumoulin crackin ghis frame on the turbo
  • onyourrightonyourright Posts: 509
    Similar to three-star Quintana doing anything tomorrow, I suppose.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 19,190
    I heard there was new tarmac somewhere, but does anyone know if a portion of gravel road remains?

    I believe just the last few hundred metres have been left as gravel.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • Team Sky must have a plan for this already. If you were DS how would you play it?

    Personally, I would have G & Froome ride hard sharing the workload for the first 3km thus putting the race and everyone else under pressure. Then after 3km, stop riding.

    The rest of the team will know this and start off normally while most of the rest of the peleton will be chasing for the first 3km.

    Either another team will take up the racing after 3km and thus keep the pressure on the race or Sky will soon have their mountain domestics at the front of the race but not having going into the red at the start.
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,210
    I really think it could all go tits-up for Sky tomorrow. If Froome attacks trying to put time into Dumoulin and Thomas cracks but Dumoulin reels Froome in. Thomas could lose substantial time and Dumoulin could then take Froome (and Thomas) in the TT.
  • ShutupJensShutupJens Posts: 1,373
    Team Sky must have a plan for this already. If you were DS how would you play it?

    This. They'll have thought long and hard about the risks of each plan and scenario, I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes. If I were SDB I'd probably be looking at riding a hard tempo from the start to discourage attacks but not necessarily pushing it on descents.

    If I were a Roglic, Bardet or another rider on the front row you could guarantee that I would be straight off the mark as hard as possible. Nothing to lose from blowing the race apart
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 19,190
    hypster wrote:
    I really think it could all go tits-up for Sky tomorrow. If Froome attacks trying to put time into Dumoulin and Thomas cracks but Dumoulin reels Froome in. Thomas could lose substantial time and Dumoulin could then take Froome (and Thomas) in the TT.


    Or Sky will try to whittle the GC group down until Dumoulin is pretty much isolated.
    Then Froome will attack and Geraint will do as he has done and sit on Dumoulin's wheel and not crack.
    Time comes and he drops Tom too.

    It's all guesswork. Could well be none of the above.

    I am more mystified as to what Ag2r were playing at with Latour.
    He could ship major time tomorrow, after today's big effort.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • KorhagKorhag Posts: 77
    edited July 2018
    Sky Wars - Episode 2: [Witty star-wars-esque reference here]

    0c4fxtH.jpg

    In all seriousness, could be interesting? :twisted:

    I am not sure about TD, he has impressed but primarily by sticking with the relentless pace by Sky's train. Maybe he will step in to the breach if another team tries something on? (Movistar potentially with an extra rider over Sky and A2GR)
  • Jez monJez mon Posts: 3,809
    I think sky can afford to "relax" for the first mountain, and get the team organised. Then think about trying to gain time once they hit the bottom of the last climb.

    I also think we might see some classic Tour de France riding for top ten GC positions, rather than risking it all for the win.
    You live and learn. At any rate, you live
  • indypindyp Posts: 735
    Sounds the likely scenario and same of what has gone before. I do wonder if TD will try a 'Froome' and go from far out but he's tried that already and didn't pull it off. Also Quintana had a go from distance in Tour of Suisse so may try again although he never really put that much time into a tired Porte and he's not looked great so far. If Kwia, Poels and then Bernal pull on the final climb then good luck trying to beat Sky
  • Jez monJez mon Posts: 3,809
    indyP wrote:
    Sounds the likely scenario and same of what has gone before. I do wonder if TD will try a 'Froome' and go from far out but he's tried that already and didn't pull it off. Also Quintana had a go from distance in Tour of Suisse so may try again although he never really put that much time into a tired Porte and he's not looked great so far. If Kwia, Poels and then Bernal pull on the final climb then good luck trying to beat Sky

    A Landa, Quintana and Valverde three up TTT might work? If they could get away with Bardet too, it could get juicy...

    Given sky haven't shown any interest in trying to keep their domestiques high on GC, I think we can assume they'd aren't especially worried though.
    You live and learn. At any rate, you live
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,356
    I'm happy to be proved wrong on this, but I doubt it'll live up to even our least fevered imaginations. Tactics, especially at the Tour, tend to be quite risk-averse.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 24,046
    ^true dat
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,867
    I've predicted elsewhere that Luke Rowe will lead the peloton over the first climb again
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • KorhagKorhag Posts: 77
    What intervals are the riders in each 'grid group' being set off at?
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,867
    Korhag wrote:
    What intervals are the riders in each 'grid group' being set off at?
    That's the key thing. We don't really know. Probably nothing really.

    I'm reminded of the Olympic Mountain Bike race where they said Sagan's position at the back of the grid would stop his chances. And then he popped up at the front after about 200m.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,356
    RichN95 wrote:
    Korhag wrote:
    What intervals are the riders in each 'grid group' being set off at?
    That's the key thing. We don't really know. Probably nothing really.

    I'm reminded of the Olympic Mountain Bike race where they said Sagan's position at the back of the grid would stop his chances. And then he popped up at the front after about 200m.

    I'm starting to wonder if his ego's so big it actually warps space-time. The evidence certainly points that way.
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,210
    At no time in this Tour has Dumoulin been dropped for any appreciable time despite the best efforts of the "Sky train". He just sits on the back of it and gets the same tug that Froome and Thomas are getting. This Tour isn't the Giro, it's had nowhere near the total amount of climbing or the severity of gradient to put Dumoulin in trouble.

    Tomorrow's stage is no different and at 65K he can give it everything he has got especially if they leave it until the last climb. We saw that on l'Alpe d'Huez. The only way Sky will be able to combat it is if they protect Thomas' 1:50 lead which should be enough to cushion him in the TT from Dumoulin. The TT is lumpy though which may not suit Thomas but we know it will suit Dumoulin.
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,316
    Korhag wrote:
    What intervals are the riders in each 'grid group' being set off at?

    All start at once, as far as I've heard (and the animated explainer seemed to set them all of at once). There's just a bit of space between each group I guess, so you're just at the back of the peloton at the start. The road isn't particularly narrow, so it will just be as if you've been on bottle duty. Bit of argy-bargy for position I guess, but probably not much out of the usual.
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,316
    hypster wrote:
    At no time in this Tour has Dumoulin been dropped for any appreciable time despite the best efforts of the "Sky train". He just sits on the back of it and gets the same tug that Froome and Thomas are getting. This Tour isn't the Giro, it's had nowhere near the total amount of climbing or the severity of gradient to put Dumoulin in trouble.

    Tomorrow's stage is no different and at 65K he can give it everything he has got especially if they leave it until the last climb. We saw that on l'Alpe d'Huez. The only way Sky will be able to combat it is if they protect Thomas' 1:50 lead which should be enough to cushion him in the TT from Dumoulin. The TT is lumpy though which may not suit Thomas but we know it will suit Dumoulin.

    I don't think they've really tried to drop him, not that hard. Froome has had a dig, Thomas has sat on Dumoulin's wheel and then finished with a sprint. Thomas had a go on Mende, but ended up pulling Dumoulin up to Froome (he got a gap originally, but it was closed as soon as he reached Froome). That's about it.
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,783
    I really doubt the plan will be for Froome or Thomas to do more than the absolute minimum to stop a GC contender riding away early on. If Sky can control this by getting a train going they will. That final climb is a beast, if they want to give Froome a chance of winning then they'll ride a hard tempo to try and drop opposition domestiques and launch him a number of kms out on that climb, if they are more conservative then the tempo will be lower if they can get away with it and they'll try and control as far up the climb as they can.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
Sign In or Register to comment.