As printed on letour.fr, this succinct and accurate analysis by race director Jean-Francois Pescheux labels Stage 19 as the one everyone is afraid of.
“Today’s route runs in the opposite direction to yesterday’s. The riders tackle the successive climbs of the Col du Télégraphe and the Galibier, and then finish with the climb to Alpe d’Huez, which returns after an absence of three years. It is a short stage. Nevertheless, all of the riders will be afraid of it. Those who aren’t going so well will be concerned about the cut-off time for elimination and the favourites will know that they will pay a heavy cost for any sign of weakness. The shortness of the stage allows the climbers to attack from very early on, which is not something they will be used to. This stage will be thrilling and, bearing in mind that it comes on the back of two other tough days, there is a chance that a lot of damage will be done today.”
The infamous, feared and celebrated climb of Alpe d’Huez has been completed for the year, with now a new man in yellow! And it’s not last year’s Tour winner. But who am I to spoil your own viewing?