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TDF 2019, Stage 18: Embrun > Valloire 25/07/2019 - 208 km *Spoilers*

blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 14,017
edited July 2019 in Pro race
TDF 2019, Stage 18: Embrun > Valloire 25/07/2019 - 208 km

The race heads into the Alps for its first grueling day of 207 kilometers that climb the Col de Vars (2,109m) and the Col d’Izoard (2,360m) before dropping down to the town of Briançon. They then cross the summit of the Galibier (2,642m) via the Col du Lautaret, before descending to the finish in Valloire. 1972 saw the victory of Eddy Merckx in the yellow jersey on a half-stage. Luis Ocaña was suffering with a chest complaint and lost time and so fourth title for the Belgian champion was on the horizon.

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The race leaves from Embrun, in the 2013 Tour de France host to a climbing time trial that was won by Chris Froome. Four years later, in 2017, a stage set off in the Hautes-Alpes village and went to Salon-de-Provence, where Edvald Boasson Hagen brought the early break home.
Valloire has rarely been included as an arrival. Obviously the village was a passage on numerous occasions on the way to the Galibier and in 2013 a stage left from Valloire to Ivrea. Attacker Beñat Intxausti took the win that day, outgunning Tanel Kangert and Przemyslav Niemiec in the sprint.

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The climbing gets underway with the 3rd category Demoiselles Coiffées to warm the legs. Following a short descent, the route continues false flat to the Col de Vars. The 9.3 kilometres climb at 7.5% is crested at kilometre 85.5.

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Two hors-catégorie climbs left, so now it is getting serious.

Back in the valley the route starts to climb immediately, although at shallow gradients. If you add this section to the actual climb, the Col d’Izoard is 32 kilometres long. Yet, the official ascent begins when the riders leave the D947 with a sharp left-hander. Seen in this light, the Izoard is 14.1 kilometres long and the average slope sits at 7.3%.

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After Briançon the riders tackle the Galibier, which is a massive ascent of 23 kilometres long. Actually, the first 15 kilometres are the Col du Lauteret, which is a friendly ascent with gradients hovering around 4 to 5%. But then the climb ups the ante with an average gradient of 6.2% in the second part, while the last kilometre climbs at 9%.

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After its crest – where the first three riders pocket time bonuses of 8, 5 and 2 seconds – the route continues with a 19 kilometres descent to the line in Valloire.

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Favourites 18th stage 2019 Tour de France
*** Steven Kruijswijk, Thibaut Pinot, Mikel Landa
** Geraint Thomas, Egan Bernal, Emanuel Buchmann
* Simon Yates, Bauke Mollema, Rigoberto Uran, Julian Alaphilippe

Embrun
Five previous stages

Population: 6,150. 17,270 for the Community of communes of Serre-Ponçon
ts climate, among the driest and sunniest in the region, earned Embrun the nickname of “Nice of the Alps”. Form its rock, it overlooks the artificial lake of Serre-Poncon, the second largest in Europe, to which gather every summer the most seasoned triathletes for the annual Embruman. In July 2013, the Embrun man was a Britishman by the name of Chris Froome who dominated the individual TT to Chorges to strengthen his yellow jersey and tighten his grip over final victory in the centenary Tour.

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In 2008, Embrun was the launch pad to a stage to l’Alpe d’Huez won by Carlos Sastre, who also seized the yellow jersey that day. In that edition, Embrun had the privilege to host two stage starts. The first had been won in Prato Nevoso, across the Italian border, by Simon Gerrans.
In 1973, the peloton left Embrun for Nice and Spaniard won the first of his three stage victories on the Tour, one year before finishing on the podium behind Eddy Merckx and Raymond Poulidor. Embrun is also the hometown of Eric Boyer, fifth in the 1988 Tour de France and the former manager of Team Cofidis.
In 2017, Embrun was the start of a stage to Salon-de-Provence in which Edvald Boasson-Hagen proved wiser than Niklas Arndt when he took a roundabout by the better side to beat his breakaway companion to the line.

Lake Serre-Poncon and St Michel Chapel.
The devastating floods of the Durance, in 1843 and 1856, led to the idea of building a dam. Technical difficulties were many and it is only in 1948 that a Moscow-born engineer, Ivan Wilhem, presented a viable project. The works started in 1955 and villages were flooded in 1959 and 1961. Some 1,500 persons had to be displaced and the villages of Savines, Ubaye and Rousset disappeared underwater. Savines was rebuilt and the new Savines-le-lac was inaugurated in 1962. The Serre-Poncon lake is the second largest artificial lake in Europe.

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Specialities: honey, trout farms, cheese, venison, jam tarts, apple.

On the Route: Col d’Izoard (2,361 m).
"It is the privilege of the Izoard to distinguish the champion," wrote Jacques Gooddet. For many years, the Izoard was indeed the pass in which the victory in the Tour de France was decided. Henri Pélissier, in 1923, was the first to dare challenge the climb when he attacked on it, leaving his rival Ottavio Bottechia trailing by fourty minutes at the top. Gino Bartali was the second to use the Izoard as a launching ramp to Paris both in 1938 and 1948, when he defeated Bretons Louison Bobet and Jean Robic.

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La Casse Déserte, with its stony chimneys at 2,220 m and its arid aspect, is a key sector of ​​the Izoard, often exposed to the wind. On leaving it, after a short descent, appears the stele dedicated to Louison Bobet and Fausto Coppi, whose plaques are affixed to a monolithic rock. From there about two kilometres remain with a slope close to 9% up to the top.

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Valloire
Two previous stages

Population: 1,150

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Better know for its ski champions than for its cyclists, Valloire is still familiar to the peloton as it is the closest village to the Galibier. The most famous cyclist in the history of the lovely ski resort is probably the local priest who, in 1922, gave his bike to Eugene Christophe. The first holder of the yellow jersey had - again! – broken his fork in the descent of the Galibier and had been forced to borrow this bike to make it to Geneva.

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Specialties: diots of Valloire (made with carrots, red beets, beef),

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farcis valloirins (white cabbage dish with raisins, prunes and apples). Cheeses: Borgé (with raw cow's milk), Tomme de Valloire (that of the Ferme du Pré Clos is recommended by Gault & Millau). La Galibier beer (the highest brewery in France) has won numerous international awards.

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"Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
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Posts

  • A proper brute of a stage that. Can’t wait.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 14,017
    Definitely one for the....

    Bouquetin-haute-def-Estelle-Blesbois.jpg

    ....who can descend like a....

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    Which of the GC boys smells his opponents blood.

    20170909_BLP513.jpg
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • m.r.m.m.r.m. Posts: 1,644
    This one is a doozy!
    PTP Champion 2019
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,576
    Nasty, I can't wait
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • DeadCalmDeadCalm Posts: 2,995
    Think this will be thinned out by riders falling off the back under pressure from elite domestiques riding a hard tempo rather than any big GC attacks from the top 6. Expect Movistar to try and shake things up though. Saturday should be the explosive day.
  • above_the_cowsabove_the_cows Posts: 10,862
    _48933821_fish2_203x152-1.jpg
    Correlation is not causation.
  • above_the_cowsabove_the_cows Posts: 10,862
    Will post real life action shots from the Galibier tomorrow evening/Friday morning... I am excited.
    Correlation is not causation.
  • FocusZingFocusZing Posts: 4,416
    Micheal Fish!
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,699 Lives Here
    Apaz as cold as 13 degrees up top which in the wet is coooold.
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,018
    Very hot at the moment, at least for us mere mortals

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  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,699 Lives Here
    Wehay!!! How was it??!
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 8,065
    I'm doing interviews all day tomorrow and the last one is right over when the stage will probably finish - censored .

    Not as bad as Saturday when in a colossal calendar error I'm booked to go to a nice late lunch at 2pm, which my wife pointed out yesterday will be over the last competitive stage of the tour. Hope she doesn't mind me watching it on my phone :D
  • m.r.m.m.r.m. Posts: 1,644
    Will post real life action shots from the Galibier tomorrow evening/Friday morning... I am excited.
    Oh have the very best time! I'm so jealous!
    PTP Champion 2019
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,018
    Wehay!!! How was it??!

    The other day, 30C at the col, awful.
  • bm5bm5 Posts: 130
    m.r.m. wrote:
    Will post real life action shots from the Galibier tomorrow evening/Friday morning... I am excited.
    Oh have the very best time! I'm so jealous!
    Any distinguishing features we should look out for to spot you on the coverage? Horse costume? 3 metre Bikeradar forum flag?
  • above_the_cowsabove_the_cows Posts: 10,862
    bm5 wrote:
    m.r.m. wrote:
    Will post real life action shots from the Galibier tomorrow evening/Friday morning... I am excited.
    Oh have the very best time! I'm so jealous!
    Any distinguishing features we should look out for to spot you on the coverage? Horse costume? 3 metre Bikeradar forum flag?

    I am currently eating my 400g of rice, three eggs and whatever else Froome had for breakfast on *that* stage so have time to comment.

    I am trying to figure out how to carry enough food/water to see me through most of the afternoon, in case I cannot get any water after the Lautaret, and not be the weight of a large cow on the way up. I wish I did have a horse costume, but I think it might be a bit hot.

    Perhaps I'll make a #FreeTonyandLuke placard.

    Planning on making it to the area by the Henri Desgrange monument, just before the tunnel and turn off to the last little bit, there are good panoramic views from there.
    Correlation is not causation.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 14,017
    bm5 wrote:
    m.r.m. wrote:
    Will post real life action shots from the Galibier tomorrow evening/Friday morning... I am excited.
    Oh have the very best time! I'm so jealous!
    Any distinguishing features we should look out for to spot you on the coverage? Horse costume? 3 metre Bikeradar forum flag?

    I am currently eating my 400g of rice, three eggs and whatever else Froome had for breakfast on *that* stage so have time to comment.

    I am trying to figure out how to carry enough food/water to see me through most of the afternoon, in case I cannot get any water after the Lautaret, and not be the weight of a large cow on the way up. I wish I did have a horse costume, but I think it might be a bit hot.

    Perhaps I'll make a #FreeTonyandLuke placard.

    Planning on making it to the area by the Henri Desgrange monument, just before the tunnel and turn off to the last little bit, there are good panoramic views from there.


    Always pays to be prepared..

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    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • ocdupalaisocdupalais Posts: 3,638
    I’d love to see Pinot take this. FDJ would suddenly be a bone fide GC team and buy in all that French GT talent... er, David Gaudu. David Moncoutie will come out of retirement for them. Off season (Oct - March): pics of the team in garish multicoloured onesies cross country skiing on misty mountains. Cyclo crossing in misty woods. Dog walking in more misty woods. Smoking and drinking red wine in misty tabacs. Voeckler and Virenque pulled in as PR. Forget the past: this is all about tradition. Don’t worry about the future, it’s all about maintenant! And the moment. The passion. The not being able to do it again. Vive Le Tour. Vive La France.
  • craigus89craigus89 Posts: 861
    I would love Pinot to take it too. Such a delicate soul.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 9,118
    bm5 wrote:
    m.r.m. wrote:
    Will post real life action shots from the Galibier tomorrow evening/Friday morning... I am excited.
    Oh have the very best time! I'm so jealous!
    Any distinguishing features we should look out for to spot you on the coverage? Horse costume? 3 metre Bikeradar forum flag?

    I am currently eating my 400g of rice, three eggs and whatever else Froome had for breakfast on *that* stage so have time to comment.

    I am trying to figure out how to carry enough food/water to see me through most of the afternoon, in case I cannot get any water after the Lautaret, and not be the weight of a large cow on the way up. I wish I did have a horse costume, but I think it might be a bit hot.

    Perhaps I'll make a #FreeTonyandLuke placard.

    Planning on making it to the area by the Henri Desgrange monument, just before the tunnel and turn off to the last little bit, there are good panoramic views from there.

    There is that shop/cafe by the tunnel on that side, might be able to top up there - it is quite a bit of climbing to there from Lautaret carrying a day's worth of water.
    and then the next thing you know
  • alanparsonsalanparsons Posts: 529
    Weather reports suggest there could be rain on the Galibier.
  • ContrelaMontreContrelaMontre Posts: 3,027
    Weather reports suggest there could be rain on the Galibier.

    What is the wind forecast? I rode this stage a week ago and was put in a dark place on the Lauteret. It might only be 4 or 5% but with a headwind it was the hardest section as it's so exposed and so long. I think having teammates will be most important on this drag.

    I expect Movistar will try sending Soler and/or Amador up the road for Landa to bridge across to. He'll need someone to tow him up the Lauteret. It would be suicidal to try and go solo on this section.

    Rule No.10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster
  • alanparsonsalanparsons Posts: 529
    Meteo France reckon on 2mph southwesterly in Briancon, so its going to be like an oven coming off the Izoard.
    It is a long drag up to the Lauteret from that side then immediately hard after the right turn up to the Galibier.
  • ContrelaMontreContrelaMontre Posts: 3,027
    No headwind means a better chance of attacking racing.

    Rule No.10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster
  • Nothing like a few hours of sheer suffering for entertainment eh? *smacks lips*
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 14,017
    Several Ag2r riders straight out the back, along with Erviti, so Yohan Offredo makes his move to protect the lantern rouge.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • alanparsonsalanparsons Posts: 529
    Several Ag2r riders straight out the back, along with Erviti, so Yohan Offredo makes his move to protect the lantern rouge.

    Has there been an adjustment to the hours delay today, I think quite a few are going to be in big trouble today if not!
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 9,465
    Imagine getting dropped on the cat 3, 13km in, on this stage.... Yikes.
    “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!
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,699 Lives Here
    I do think even if the weather is cold it will have blunted those who don’t like the heat.

    31 degrees atm for the peloton.

    Just came back from a short and slow pootle (#dadbod) and I’m pretty good in the heat. 32 here and mainly through Fen fields with little shade.

    It just takes longer to recover from big efforts
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,699 Lives Here
    I bet Di Data are glad they took Cummings and not Cav.....right?
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