Stage 18 – Albi to Mende >189km

Course: Unlike the easy finish in 2003, up the Atlantic coast, this year’s Tour sees a series of difficult stages through the Massif Central. The last 60km of this stage includes a challenging Cat. 2 climb out of the Tarn Gorge, a Cat. 3 climb at 15km to go, a swift downhill into the Lot valley at Mende, and a severe 14-percent Cat. 2 climb in the final 1.5km. History: In the only Tour stage finish at Mende, in 1995, Laurent Jalabert used the closing Croix-Neuve climb to drop his longtime breakaway companions and score a memorable Bastille Day stage victory. Favorites: Depending on the

July 21, 2005

Stage 18 - Albi to Mende >189km

Stage 18 – Albi to Mende >189km

Photo:

Course: Unlike the easy finish in 2003, up the Atlantic coast, this year’s Tour sees a series of difficult stages through the Massif Central. The last 60km of this stage includes a challenging Cat. 2 climb out of the Tarn Gorge, a Cat. 3 climb at 15km to go, a swift downhill into the Lot valley at Mende, and a severe 14-percent Cat. 2 climb in the final 1.5km.

History: In the only Tour stage finish at Mende, in 1995, Laurent Jalabert used the closing Croix-Neuve climb to drop his longtime breakaway companions and score a memorable Bastille Day stage victory.

Stage 18 - Albi to Mende >189km

Stage 18 – Albi to Mende >189km

Photo:

Favorites: Depending on the state of the race for the yellow jersey, riders like Vinokourov, Landis or Valverde might make it into the day’s winning move. But look for a rider like David Moncoutié to be strong on the finishing climb. Also, the tough climb at Mende will sift out any of the weaker elements in the GC standings.

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