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Le Tour 100 – Stage 18

Tour de FranceGap to Alpe-d’Huez

Distance: 172.5 kilometers.

Déjà vu all over again…

The stage starts by going over the category 2 Col de Manse which they already did at the end of Stage 16. Then after a short section of hills it’s over the top of category 3 Rampe du Motty. Things aren’t too bad for about 40 km and it’s time to go up category 2 Col d’Ornon, over the top and down to the valley for the sprint. The first 110 km was just the warm up for the pain to come.

Alpe d’Huez is a Hors Catégorie, a dozen kilometers at better than an 8% grade on a road that features nearly two dozen hairpin turns. This would be a good ending for a stage in the Alps, but it was felt that the stage was too short, so they added the run up the category 2 Col de Sarenne. Still feeling it to be too short, their solution was to loop around and climb the Alpe d’Huez again with the finish at the summit.

Christophe Riblon obviously felt the stage was ‘just right’, because he won it, took the Red Numbers doing it, improved his general classification by 8 places, his sprint classification by 14 places, and moved up to third place from 34th in the battle for the Polka Dots, meaning he will be wearing the Jersey.

Christopher Froome increased his lead to five-plus minutes over Alberto Contador, and still leads in the battle for ‘king of the mountains’.

Nairo Quintana moved up to third in the general classification, which is a place on the podium at Paris, has a 9+ minute lead for the White Jersey, and is only 7 points behind Froome to win the Polka Dots at the end. He is only 21 seconds behind Contador in the general, so second place is within reach.

Yellow Jersey Christopher Froome ( GB – SKY – 001 ) [Yellow] 71h 02′ 19″
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – CAN – 011 ) [Green] 380 points
Polka Dot Jersey Christophe Riblon ( Fra – ALM – 089 ) [Polka Dot] 104 points [Froome]
White Jersey Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas ( Col – MOV – 128 ) 3 [White]

Team: Saxo-Tinkoff ( TST – 091-099 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Christophe Riblon ( Fra – ALM – 089 )
Combative: Christophe Riblon ( Fra – ALM – 089 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Christopher Froome ( GB – SKY – 001 )
2 Alberto Contador ( Esp – TST – 091 ) + 05′ 11″
3 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas ( Col – MOV – 128 ) + 05′ 32″
4 Roman Kreuziger ( Cze – TST – 094 ) + 05′ 44″
5 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver ( Esp – KAT – 101 ) + 05′ 58″
6 Bauke Mollema ( Ned – BEL – 164 ) + 08′ 58″
7 Jakob Fuglsang ( Den – EUC – 063 ) + 09′ 33″
8 Michael Rogers ( Aus – TST – 098 ) + 14′ 26″
9 Michal Kwiatkowski ( Pol – OPQ – 153 ) + 14′ 38″
10 Laurens Ten Dam ( Ned – BEL – 167 ) + 14′ 39″

The Rest of the Top 30:

11 Alejandro Valverde ( Esp – MOV – 121 ) + 14′ 56″
12 Andrew Talansky ( USA – GRS – 178 ) + 16′ 24″
13 Daniel Navarro ( Esp – COF – 139 ) + 19′ 18″
14 Maxime Monfort ( Bel – RLT – 047 ) + 19′ 56″
15 Mikel Nieve Iturralde ( Esp – EUS – 116 ) + 24′ 13″
16 Daniel Moreno Fernandez ( Esp – KAT – 106 ) + 30′ 05″
17 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) + 30′ 45″
18 Andy Schleck ( Lux – RLT – 041 ) + 31′ 19″
19 Daniel Martin ( Irl – GRS – 175 ) + 34′ 22″
20 Richie Porte ( Aus – SKY – 006 ) + 37′ 42″
21 Jan Bakelants ( Bel – RLT – 042 ) + 40′ 08″
22 José Serpa ( Col – LAM – 149 ) + 41′ 05″
23 Sylvain Chavanel ( Fra – OPQ – 152 ) + 41′ 13″
24 Igor Anton ( Esp – EUS – 111 ) + 42′ 09″
25 Robert Gesink ( Ned – BEL – 162 ) + 43′ 48″
26 John Gadret ( Fra – ALM – 086 ) + 44′ 24″
27 Steve Morabito ( Sui – BMC – 036 ) + 44′ 46″
28 Pierre Rolland ( Fra – EUC – 051 ) + 45′ 41″
29 Cadel Evans ( Aus – BMC – 031 ) + 46′ 16″
30 Peter Velits ( Svk – OPQ – 159 ) + 46′ 39″

Did not finish:

Alexey Lutsenko ( Kaz – EUC – 068 )
William Bonnet ( Fra – FDJ – 072 )

Note: Wikipedia has a simple article on the Mountain classification used on the Tour. The basic fact is that climbs fall into five types, with the four numbered types decreasing in difficulty as the numbers get larger, and then there is the Hors Catégorie, literally “without category”, which generally makes you look for an elevator or Sherpas.

Go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Le Tour” for all of the posts related to the race on this site.

2 comments

1 Steve Bates { 07.18.13 at 12:46 pm }

Yikes. Hairpins terrify me. Even those on roads in shallow hills outside Austin (Houston has a total of perhaps three hairpins in its entire bike trail system) scare the bejezus out of me, though Austin cyclists who commute to work as I once did in Houston take them in stride without a second thought.

The only local thing that scared me (apart from motor vehicles, of course) was an underpass along the sloped bank of a bayou: a couple hundred feet downhill under a spillway, at a grade you could actually see with your eyes, an approximately 500′ bridge (almost freestanding, utterly unprotected from crosswinds) and another 200′ back up to ground level. It became routine for me, part of my daily commute. Then one day we had our once-in-10-years snow…

2 Bryan { 07.18.13 at 9:51 pm }

When my Dad was stationed in Germany going to school was an adventure. There was a hairpin between the villages of Sinspelt and Oberweiss that didn’t look wide enough for two people to pass on foot, and we would be in a huge Bundespost bus meeting farmers pulling haywagons with tractors. It was even more fun during the winter.

One of my brothers got a ride on a motorcycle, and refused to say anything other than ‘never again’.

We talked before about the crosswinds on a bike. People don’t even think about it until they get knocked over the first time.