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Pyrénées III: Downhills Decisive?
There’s plenty of climbing—but even more descending—on this third Pyrenean stage. It starts with a half-hour neutralized descent from 2,400 to 1,000 meters in elevation…and continues downhill until the day’s first climb starts 40 kilometers later. The stage offers the last true opportunity for the breakaway specialists to win a stage. The Port, Core and Portet-d’Aspet passes are not too difficult, while the team leaders will likely be saving themselves for the two big summit finishes in the upcoming days.
With 30 kilometers to go, the Portet d’Aspet descent is brutally steep (this is where Fabio Casartelli’s fatal crash happened in 1995) and there’s another downhill ending 5 kilometers from the finish—which is on the old Comminges motor-racing circuit at the top of a 500-meter-long climb that averages close to 7 percent.
After a 2km descent, 4.5km on flat roads and 500-meter-long climb to the finish at the former motor-racing circuit in Saint-Gaudens, at the end of a 100m straight on the 18 feet wide Avenue René-Dreyfus.