Stage 13 in the Tour de France brings in an explosive 100 kilometres route through the Pyrenees. After cresting three cols the riders plunge down at full speed to finish in Foix.
Today is Bastille Day, so we should expect a lot of French riders to go on the attack. We should expect a lot of attacks overall, as this is usually the case in such short stages. Riders will definitely need their climbing legs.
The first climb is Col de Latrape, which is 5.6 kilometres at 7.2%. Around halfway, the riders stumble upon the steepest sector at 10.6%. The col was in the 2011 Tour de France also, when Sandy Casar was the first to crest.
The next climb, Col d’Agnes, peaks 15 kilometres after the Col de Latrape. It’s a 10.2 kilometres drag at 8.1% with gradients over 10% right at the base of the climb. So that’s quite some welcome. It takes 8 kilometres up the slopes for the mountain to flatten out a bit with a kilometre at ‘merely’ 4.9%. That’s a short relief though as the road goes on again in familiar fashion – steep.
The Col d’Agnes was in the 2011 Tour de France, too. At 1,570 metres altitude, Sylvain Chavanel took most KOM points.
The best is saved for last as the third climb, Mur de Péguère, is a killer. At 9.3 kilometres, the average gradient of 7.9% may look fairly doable, yet is is the build-up that will do the damage here. The first six kilometres go up steadily, but then all hell breaks loose with 1 kilometre at 13% on average and a steepest sector at 18%. What comes next is hardly any better and it’s only at the top that the riders will be out of their misery.
After cresting the 1,375 metres peak a 27 kilometres descent takes them 1,000 metres down to the finish line in Foix. It’s the third time the Tour de France will finish in this Pyrenees village. Kurt-Asle Arvesen (2008) and Luis-Leon Sanchez (2012) were the previous winners.
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses at 10, 6 and 4 seconds.