Thursday 15 July - At 130 kilometres, the last mountain stage of the Tour de France is a relatively short one. Most uphill action is clustered inside the last 50 kilometres. First the Col du Tourmalet and then a summit finish in ski resort Luz-Ardiden.
The first phase of the race traverses the foothills of the Pyrenees. Although it’s nowhere near flat, the terrain is not ascending either. Undulating, that’s the word.
The second phase of the race begins in Sainte-Marie-de-Campan, where the riders tackle the Col du Tourmalet for the 88th time in the history of the Tour de France. On this side the ascent totals 17.1 kilometres, while the average gradient sits at 7.1%. The first third is relatively easy, but from the seventh kilometre onwards the gradient never drops below 8%.
The riders fly down into Luz-Saint-Sauveur to tackle the last climb of the Tour de France. The ascent into Luz-Ardiden is 13.3 kilometres long and averages 7.4%. The fourth and fifth kilometre before the finish are particularly steep, so this could be a sector to strike.
The first three riders on the line gain time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds.
The 18th stage of the Tour de France starts at 13.35 and the race is expected to finish around 17.30 – both are local times (CEST).