July 22 Stage 19: Modane to L’Alpe d’Huez, 109.5km (68 miles)
Don’t be fooled by the brevity of this final mountain stage. It’s less than 110km (just 68 miles) but there’s barely a kilometer of flat roads between Modane and the spectacular summit finish in L’Alpe d’Huez. After a short downhill from the start, the peloton will tackle the more difficult side of the Galibier via the Col du Télégraphe, a total ascent of 28.6km with an average 7-percent grade. Don’t expect heroics on this reverse crossing of the Galibier because the race still has to negotiate a mostly downhill run of 43km (via the Col du Lautaret) before starting the 13.8km hors-cat climb to the finish.
THE SCOOP: The only rider in this race to have won a Tour stage at L’Alpe d’Huez is Fränk Schleck, five years ago, while the last time the race came here, in 2008, the best finishers of the current field were Samuel Sanchez, Andy and Fränk Schleck, Cadel Evans and Christian Vande Velde.
OVERALL RATING: ****