Back Swinging. After what seems like both forever, and no time at all, we’re headed to the final stanza of this year’s Tour. Today’s stage is another medium mountain stage, with only one Cat. 2 climb to deal with, followed by a short descent into the town of Gap.
The day is a steady climb uphill for the majority of the day, with two sharp descents that may be of note for general standings — the descent that leads to the Col de Manse (the climb of the day) and then the 11km after the summit of the Col, which is all downhill to the finish.
A demon descender such as Sammy Sanchez may have a crack at some more seconds over the top of this hill, but it is unlikely that anyone else in contention would have a swing.
Evans isn’t really that kind of rider (although I reckon he could do with as much time as he can get on the Schleck brothers), but would do well to put things on his terms for at least a stage prior to the big hills.
Otherwise, this is a day tailor-made for the break to survive. Clearly Hushovd will be sniffing about, and mayhap he’s inspired a few other rouleurs to try their hand.
There is not nearly as much time to catch back up as Thor had for his big win the other day, but it doesn’t mean he won’t be trying!
My thoughts for today are that there won’t be any changes on the general, and the stage will go the break: