Although the home riders will have been motivated to show themselves on the Bastille Day stage to Luz-Ardiden, today's run between Pau and Lourdes appears to suit them better. Not only is there no summit finish on this Pyrenean day, but it only features the climb of the Aubisque.
Although a Tour classic, its summit is 50km from the finish. Add all that together and the Tour's leading performers are sure to keep their powder dry, which should give French riders the opportunity they need. Fédrigo has won twice on stages like this while Voeckler has impressed too.
Distance: 152.5 km
Highest point: 1,709m
Category: High mountains
Vin Denson says...
"Aubisque is huge but far from the finish. I don't see the winner being a yellow jersey contender. Someone who had deliberately put themselves out of contention, maybe one of the Spanish climbers, will want to smash it open early on."
This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.