Analysis by Jean-François Pescheux, Tour competition director: “This is a huge stage, and even though there isn’t a summit finish it’s still devilishly difficult. We’re right in the middle of the Pyrenees, heading over the Col de Port, the Portet d’Aspet, the Menté, Peyresourde and an interesting newcomer, the Bales (19.2km at 6.2%). It’s quite simple – over the last 56 kilometres there is no respite today. The gloves will be off as the specialist climbers and overall favourites go at each other hammer and tongs. In the Alps they weren’t able to give all they had, but this really is the moment for them to show exactly what they are made of. We might even see a young climber going on the attack here, especially with a rest day to come.”

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