Stage 16: Cuneo - Jausiers
Monday, June 9, 2008 11.00pm
Col de la Bonnette takes riders to 2800m
After an Italian rest day, the Tour heads back over the Alps to France. After a fairly flat, but gradually rising 50 kilometres, the course tackles the first of the day's two hors catégorie climbs: the Col de la Lombarde, which marks the border crossing.
After a long descent, the roads begin to rise again to the second of the day's massive climbs: the Col de la Bonnette-Restefond, the highest point of this year's Tour, which at 2802 metres is also the highest paved road in the Alps.
There then follows a 23.5-kilometre descent to the finish in Jausiers, the smallest town to host a stage finish at just over 1000 in population. Once again, the high mountains should provide plenty of opportunity for the favourites to attack one another, but that long descent will allow any dropped riders a chance to make up some ground, keeping the gaps relatively small.
Unsurprisingly, it is the first time that either town has hosted the Tour – although Cuneo was the venue for yesterday's rest day. One of the Cuneo's most famous sons is Michele Ferrero, whose eponymous company has given the world Nutella, Ferrero Rocher and Tic Tacs.