The Tour joins the Peyragudes take-off runway in the Hautes-Pyrénées on Wednesday, at the end of the four ascents of the 17th stage.
The route was limited to 129.7 kilometers between the departure from Saint-Gaudens and the arrival at the Peyragudes-Balestas altiport, a filming location a quarter of a century ago of spectacular scenes from a James Bond, “Tomorrow never dies”.
But, warns race director Thierry Gouvenou, “after fifty kilometers of plain, it goes up and down without downtime until the finish”.
Aspin (1st category), a Pyrenean “classic”, and the Hourquette d’Ancizan (2nd cat.), a more recent discovery, precede the Col de Val Louron-Azet (1st cat.), conducive to attacks on a rough road with an irregular slope.
The final ascent, 8 kilometers long at 7.8%, ends with an even more severe ramp (16%), where Romain Bardet had shown himself to be the strongest during the previous arrival ahead of the Colombian Rigoberto Uran.
But, in 2017, the last climb was significantly shorter (2.4 km) to reach the altitude of 1580 meters.
Departure from Saint-Gaudens at 1.15 p.m. (launched at 1.25 p.m.), arrival in Peyragudes around 5 p.m. (timetable calculated at an average of 36 km/h)
All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2022) Agence France-Presse