The stage we’ve all been waiting for …. Alp d’Huez.
172.5km of sheer hell.We have the Col de Manse(6.6km at 6.2%),the Ramp du Motty(2.4km at 8%),the Col d’Ornon(5.1km at 6.7%),Alp d’Huez (12.3km at 8.4%),the Col de Sarenne(3km at 7.8%) and finally Alp d’Huez again(13.8km at 8.1%).
The 1st climb happens immediately and alot of the riders don’t like this.Some riders,especially sprinters,could be in danger of missing the time-limit as the stage is relatively short,with 6 hard climbs.
A break will obviously form on the 1st climb and if you want to win the KOTM jersey,you should be in it.That means that Nieve and Rolland could give it a go.The final climb has double points,so they might take the gamble and wait but the way Froome is climbing I think this would be a bad strategy.I would also like to see Simon Clarke in the break as he is super strong and a great rider.The French have had a very poor Tour and the break should be full of them.FDJ could sent either Jeannesson or Geniez in the break and with Peraud breaking his collarbone,it frees up Bardet or Gadret for an attack.
With Contador being more than 4 and a half minutes down they have to attack on the 1st climb of Alp d’Huez to remove the Team Sky riders.Froome’s time trial shows that he isn’t miles in front of the others on his own,get rid of Porte and the fun can begin.Movistar still have Quintana and Valverde,whilst Saxo have Contador and Kreuziger.Movistar seemed to rest some of their men in the time trial,so I expect fireworks.I would love to see teams attacking on the 1st climb of the day,to remove the weaker Team Sky riders and continue attacking all day.
Andy Schleck had a very good time trial and he likes this mountain,so he has to be considered.I don’t think a break will make it as there will be so much action in the peloton,so the pace will be very high.
I think it’ll come down to Froome,Contador,Quintana,Valverde and Rodriguez.Froome doesn’t have to win the stage but we’ve seen his passion and desire already in this race but I don’t think tomorrow will be his.If you’ve seen my previous few posts it’ll come as no surprise that I’m going for Joaquim Rodriguez.He is hitting great form and he might just surprise them.
I just hope we have another exciting day in the mountains.
Bad weather is predicted for tomorrow and the route might have to change as the descents may be too dangerous.I’ll keep you updated on twitter.
If you follow me on twitter you would have got my big tip on stage 17 of Valverde to beat Porte in the ITT at 6/4.Porte said he was going easy and the bookies didn’t listen,but I did.Easy money!