Pyrénées IV: A Battle Royal?
A green jersey contender may well get into the day’s early breakaway because the route is virtually flat for 115 kilometers until the day’s intermediate sprint at Luchon; but even if the break gets a 10-minute lead it won’t have the stage won given the tremendously difficult 65 kilometers that remain.
The consecutive ascents of the Peyresourde, Val Louron-Azet and Portet are identical to the stage won by Nairo Quintana in 2018. The Portet, which rises to 2,215 meters (7,267 feet), is the hardest climb in the Pyrénées. There’s likely to be a battle royal on the 16-kilometer ascent that concludes what should be the Tour’s key stage. Although not considered a GC favorite, Quintana could win again, especially if he gets in an early break; or, this being Bastille Day, the French national holiday, French climber David Gaudu is a potential stage winner. But the main focus will be on the battle for the yellow jersey—probably between Pogačar, Roglič, Thomas and Yates.
After a climb of 16km averaging 8.7 percent, at the end of a 40m straight on an 18 feet wide mountain road.