Analysis by Jean-François Pescheux, Tour competition director: “There is barely time to draw breath. After a well-deserved rest day at Pau, the race heads into its final day in the mountains. It comes just five days from Paris and should be another unpredictable stage. For a start, at 218 kilometres it’s long and features four extremely tough climbs, including a summit finish on the last of them, the Aubisque (16.4km at 6.9%). On the morning of this stage, the final outcome of the race will still be in doubt, and everything could change today – any podium candidate could find their wings and take flight, or even lose them completely. But at the finish we will get a good idea of the final podium challengers, and if there is to be a climber among them they will have to give all they can here. The Spaniards are bound to be prominent, especially as the race goes over to their side of the border for a short time. Only one thing is for sure – the gruppetto will be a long way behind.”

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