2023 Tour de France Stage 13 Preview

Châtillon-Sur-Chalaronne > Grand Colombier 138km

It’s feels like an age since we had a GC day, get ready for three of them. The race returns to the Grand Colombier, the last time it visited, Pogačar took the win from Roglič in 2020. Oh yeah, it’s also Bastille Day! 


Sunny and pleasant, temperatures will peak around 26 degrees. 

The Climb 

It’s a long climb, and a tough one. Pinot won here in the Tour de l’Ain in 2019 and Tobias Johannessen was first across the line in the 2021 edition of Tour de l’Avenir. It’s a well-known climb, most of the riders in the bunch will have climbed it before. 


As it’s Bastille Day, every French rider in the peloton will want to be in the break. Winning a mountaintop finish in the Tour de France is special, winning one on Bastille Day as a Frenchman means you never have to buy a beer ever again, that’s some motivation for you. The problem for the climbers is the pan flat start, the stage is reminiscent of something you’d see in the Vuelta, flat with a big mountain at the end. Will a break go all the way? That depends on the attitude of Jumbo-Visma and UAE. 

The climb is a long one, but a full bunch will be together at the foot of it, meaning lots of domestiques to set pace up the mountain. Pogačar has fond memories of this one, after putting 7 seconds into Vingegaard on Sunday, he’ll be confident of beating him again, but moving into yellow will be hard on this climb. The issue is the final 5km, it only averages 5,5%, compare that to the opening 11.3km which averages 7.9%. Going long is unlikely, but I live in hope. 

Given what comes before the Colombier, I expect a controlled climb, with mountain trains controlling a long way up. Both Jumbo-Visma and UAE are full of talented climbers, they’ll hope to have riders left for the final 5km. The big question is when will Pogačar attack? Will he be happy to wait until the sprint, and go for the stage if the break is caught? If he wants to drop Vingegaard, he’ll have to go on a steep section, but that’s with over 6k to go, attacking from that far out is very unlikely, I think he’ll wait for the sprint.  

There will be an opportunity for someone else to take a flyer and try to take the stage win. Jumbo-Visma will not be interested in chasing, they know that Vingegaard is likely to lose to Pogačar in a sprint. If UAE only have Yates to support in the final kilometres, someone like Simon Yates has a chance of upsetting the odds. 


Jonas Vingegaard – a stage like this is all about defending yellow. He’ll have Kuss and Kelderman in the closing stages, that should put Pogačar off attacking from distance. If it ends in a sprint, he’ll likely be second, losing 4 seconds which isn’t a big problem.  

Tadej Pogačar – he’s got the momentum, he’ll want to push on and take advantage. If the stage ends in a sprint, he wins, simple as that. UAE will want to control this stage and set it up for their man, it’s quite simple in terms of a Tour de France mountain stage. I don’t think he’ll gap Vingegaard, so he’ll have to be happy with the bonus seconds. 

Simon Yates – he should line up an attack inside the final 2km, it’s got a good chance of succeeding. 

Warren Barguil – breakaway hopeful number 1. The big French hope. 

Dani Martínez – breakaway hopeful number 2. Has the engine to make the break on the flat. 

Felix Gall – breakaway hopeful number 3. Will find it hard to make the break. 

Ruben Guerreiro –  breakaway hopeful number 4. Will like the Grand Colombier. 

Prediction Time 

UAE to chase, it’s a simple day to do so, as long as they make it known in the early stages. 

Embed from Getty Images

A win for Tadej Pogačar.