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STAGE 15: BAGNERES-DE-BIGORRE — LUZ-ARDIDEN

Aspin, Tourmalet, Luz-Ardiden: This is probably as tough a trio of finishing climbs as the Télégraphe, Galibier, L’Alpe d’Huez combo in the Alps. In the final 78km, there’s almost 43km of climbing totaling 10,000 feet. Luz-Ardiden is not as famous as L’Alpe d’Huez, but it’s almost identical in stats: 13.4km at 7.6 percent compared with the Alpe’s 13.8km at 7.9 percent. 7/21/2003 Start Time: 12:25:00pm7/21/2003 Estimated Finish Time: 5:34:00pm HISTORYLuz-Ardiden has been included only six times in Tour history, but it’s already left its mark, starting in 1985. Bernard Hinault had been in the

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Aspin, Tourmalet, Luz-Ardiden: This is probably as tough a trio of finishing climbs as the Télégraphe, Galibier, L’Alpe d’Huez combo in the Alps. In the final 78km, there’s almost 43km of climbing totaling 10,000 feet. Luz-Ardiden is not as famous as L’Alpe d’Huez, but it’s almost identical in stats: 13.4km at 7.6 percent compared with the Alpe’s 13.8km at 7.9 percent.

7/21/2003 Start Time: 12:25:00pm
7/21/2003 Estimated Finish Time: 5:34:00pm

HISTORY
Luz-Ardiden has been included only six times in Tour history, but it’s already left its mark, starting in 1985. Bernard Hinault had been in the yellow jersey for more than a week going into the stage but was looking beatable after crashing at St. Etienne and breaking a cheekbone. The French star wasn’t able to follow an attack by Irishman Stephen Roche on the Tourmalet, but Hinault’s young American teammate Greg LeMond did. The American felt he could beat Roche, and could have won the Tour that day. But much to his annoyance, he was told to back off. Five years later, LeMond found redemption on this same trio of climbs. Race leader Claudio Chiappucci attacked on the Aspin, taking everyone by surprise, but LeMond waited for his moment and put in a tremendous attack on Luz-Ardiden to leave the Italian gasping. Only one rider could follow LeMond that day, Miguel Induráin, who sat on his wheel until the final kilometer, where the Spaniard sprinted clear for the stage win.