2023 Tour de France Stage 20 Preview

Belfort > Le Markstein 133km

The final proper stage of the race is an absolute beauty, it’s such a shame the battle for the yellow jersey is over. Just 133km in length, it contains 3518m of climbing and barely any flat.  


Another lovely day with temperatures in the mid 20s. 

The Climbs 

Ballon d’Alsace starts after just 12km of racing, it’s quite a hard cat 2 climb. 

Next up is Col de la Croix de Moinats, short and steep. 

Then it’s Col de Grosse Pierre, another short and steep climb. 

Petit Ballon is the start of the finale of the race. This is the hardest climb in the stage. 

The final climb of the day is Col du Platzerwasel, it crests with 5km to go. 


Welcome to Thibaut Pinot country. He’s had his eyes set on this stage for months, but does he have the legs required to challenge for the win? He’s one of many riders who’ll attack on the first climb of the day and hope to never see the peloton again, but the problem for the likes of Pinot is what UAE and Jumbo-Visma have in store. Are UAE going to commit to Pogačar? Will they fire Adam Yates up the road? Do Jumbo-Visma want the stage win? 

Vingegaard won the TT, but the winner of the yellow jersey always likes to win a mountain stage. Jumbo-Visma are down to 7 riders as Van Aert left the race to be at the birth of his second child, will they be able to control the stage with the remaining riders? If you’ve been watching the race you’ll know the answer to this is yes. Christophe Laporte is climbing mountains like Alberto Contador; he’s flying up these climbs faster than most of the riders in the peloton. They’ve also got Van Hooydonck, van Baarle, Kelderman, Benoot and Kuss, and seeing as the stage is a short one, the team will be confident of being able to chase the break and set up a stage win. 

If the break is going to survive, they need to go faster than the peloton, there won’t be any gifts in this stage. The size, and composition, of the break will be interesting, most riders sitting 3rd and lower will be keeping a close eye on which riders are looking to jump. All riders in the top 10 will be keen on holding onto their position, and possibly moving up a spot or two. So, if a rider like Bilbao tries to go for the break, Simon Yates and Rodríguez will have to respond. Going for the break is a risk, this is a very hard stage, if Jumbo-Visma chase it down those who used up energy early in the stage could blow up and drop like a stone.  

We’ve also got a big fight for the polka dot jersey. Ciccone has a six-point lead over Gall, with Vingegaard sitting just one point behind. There’s 18 points in the first 80km of the race, but the two cat 1 climbs late on are worth 20 points. The Italian needs to make sure he gets in the break and takes the 18 points on offer early in the stage, but if Gall is also in the break, he’ll have to fight for it. Gall won the Queen stage, if he can finish in the top 10 and win the polka dot jersey, he will have enjoyed an unbelievable race, he should be going for it. 

What about UAE? They’ve got two stage wins and sit 2nd and 3rd on GC, but they would like another stage win and hope that Pogačar can recover to go for his second win. He looked terrible on Wednesday, I can’t believe he’ll be able to fight for the win, his focus should be on trying to hold on to second place. Their best chance of a win would be from the breakaway, someone like Majka would be a good option. 


Jonas Vingegaard – how much does he want the stage? I think he’d love to take a win in the yellow jersey. They might be down one man, but Jumbo-Visma are incredibly strong, they’re also interested in winning the team competition. It’s a short stage, and despite all the climbing, it’s a day they can control. Once on the first climb, expect to see the team come to the front and start to set a strong pace, everyone else will just have to see if they can hold on.  

Tadej Pogačar – I don’t see him being able to recover in time, he should be concerned about trying to hold on to 2nd place on GC. 

Adam Yates – will he be bold and go for the break? I think this is unlikely, but he won’t win from the GC group. If Pogačar has another bad day, he could end up 2nd on GC, which would be an amazing result for him. 

Simon Yates – wasn’t strong enough to win on Wednesday, but he wasn’t too far away. He took time that day, which is going to be a problem for him in this stage. If he goes for the break, it will trigger a chase from Ineos and UAE as he’s a threat to 4th and 3rd on GC. I think his chance for a stage win has now passed. 

Felix Gall – he was brilliant on Wednesday; I hope to see him going for the break, fighting Ciccone for the KOM jersey. He’s far enough behind the top 5 to not get chased down, and given his current shape, he’s got a good chance of fighting for another stage win. 

Thibaut Pinot – it would be amazing to see him winning on home roads, but his shape doesn’t seem good enough just now. 

Prediction Time 

Jumbo-Visma to do Jumbo-Visma type things. 

Embed from Getty Images

A dominant win for Jonas Vingegaard.