Vaison-la-Romaine – Les Deux-Alpes

Flying Start: 10:25 a.m. on D.938 (Gabriellini)

Place Burrus, Vaison-la-Romaine

By 226.5km

Vaison-la-Romaine - Les Deux-Alpes

Vaison-la-Romaine – Les Deux-Alpes


Flying Start: 10:25 a.m. on D.938 (Gabriellini)

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Course: After a rest day at Vaison-la-Romaine, the survivors of
this rugged Tour will start stage 15 with the prospect of seven hours in
the saddle on what is the longest stage this year. And if there are heat-wave
conditions — which are typical for this pre-alpine area in mid-summer —
then it will be a very laborious journey to Les Deux-Alpes. Although none
of the day’s seven climbs are particularly steep, they will take their
toll. A long breakaway is a certainty, and it’s unlikely to be caught on
the final climb — 11km at 6.5 percent — to Les Deux-Alpes. It’s no Alpe

History: Only one stage of the Tour has finished at Les Deux-Alpes,
but it was a special one, in 1998. The course was completely different
from this year’s as it began in Grenoble and headed into the high Alps
over the Croix-de-Fer and Galibier passes though stormy, wet and eventually
very cold weather. The winner, of course, was Pantani, who broke away on
the Galibier 48km from the finish and finished at Les Deux-Alpes 1:54 before
runner-up Rodolfo Massi, 5:43 up on then second-overall Julich and 8:57
ahead of a flailing Ullrich — who lost the yellow jersey to Pantani.

Favorites: No dramatics like 1998 are expected on this transitional-type
stage, so expect the stage win to be fought out by some of the lower-placed
climbers like David Moncoutié, Jonathan Vaughters, Unai Etxebarria,
Marcos Serrano and Unai Osa.