Preview: 2015 Tour de France — Stage 18

Gap to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne (186.5km)

Thursday, July 23 | 6:55 a.m. EST – 11:20 a.m. EST

With a nod to Henri Desgrange, the founder of the Tour de France and a great admirer of French history, stage 18 will follow the Route of Napoléon to La Mure, 200 years after Bonaparte’s return from exile in Elba. There are real opportunities for riders to escape on the slopes of the Glandon, though the most eagerly anticipated moment will be the ascent through Montvernier’s hairpins, just 10km from the finish at Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. This will be their first appearance on a Tour route and they promise to deliver some of the most spectacular images during the race. For the riders, they offer an exceptional launchpad: 18 successive hairpins over three kilometers with an average gradient of eight percent.