Tour de France – Stage 16 Preview

After the drama and excitement the riders face a potentially quieter day.The are riding 168km from Vaison-La-Romaine to Gap.The will also have to tackle the prospect of thunderstorms and rain,with rain in the last couple of hours a distinct possibility.That could make the final descent very challenging and dangerous.

stage 16 profile

 

We have 3 categorised climbs,the Cote de la Montagne(5.7km at 5.6%),the Col de Macuegne(7.6km at 5.2%) and the Col de Manse(9.5km at 5.2%).This means that the sprinters will not be present at the end of the race.Also note that the road rises from 84km until 135km and after a rest day this will sap the energy of the riders.

What happens will depend on Cannondale.With Peter Sagan having won only 1 stage,I would imagine that they will want another.I expect them to dominate the race from early on and only allow a small break to form.This means they will be able to control it and bring back together at the end,but the final climb crests only 11.5km from the end,so this will not be easy to control.An attack on the long final climb could see a rider with a gap that they take to the end,especially if the descent is wet and they are a daredevil descender(Cunego or Voeckler).

I would be very surprised to see any action between the GC contenders as the climbs aren’t hard enough to drop anyone.

There are 12 points on offer for the KOTM jersey and after a disappointing ride on Sunday I think Pierre Rolland will again try to be in the break.

If Cannondale can control the early part of the race I think that Sagan is the man for the stage but sometimes their attitude and tactics aren’t the best!If it does end in a reduced bunch sprint,then expect Sagan to be fighting against Degenkolb,Bennati,Gallopin and Kiwiatkowski,although the Pole may be very tired after his ride on Sunday.

Predictions ….

1.Sagan

2.Degenkolb

3.Gallopin


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