Stage 18 preview
Course: Five climbs are on tap today before the downhill finish to La Roche-sur-Foron, and the stage boasts the most total climbing (4,251 meters or 13,946 feet) of this year’s race. The climbing starts early on the long and grinding ascents of the Cormet de Roseland and Col des Saisies. After those leg softeners, the peloton tackles shorter but steeper climbs: Col des Aravis and then the Plateau des Glières, which is 6 kilometers at 11.2 percent with a 2km stretch of dirt to the summit. The summit of the final climb, the Col des Fleuries, is 10km from the finish. Whichever GC rider lost out yesterday will attack today.
Favorites: Julian Alaphilippe, Alejandro Valverde, Primož Roglič, Tadej Pogačar
Jens Voigt’s take: Again, a day that is too tough for the sprinters but too easy for the GC, so a breakaway will make it. This one is for the tough riders because it’s uphill from the start until the Cormet de Roselend at almost 2,000 meters altitude. That’s a gruellilng 46.5km of uphill and pain and agony. Either the first break goes here, or it will go on forever till the break is established. The poor sprinters have to give it all if they want to survive within the time limit.