the Col de la Loze, one of the last chances to see Tadej Pogacar overthrow the Tour? The 17th stage in questions

In the queen stage of this Tour de France, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) will have to work if he is to topple yellow jersey Jonas Vingegaard on Wednesday between Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc and Courchevel.

The peloton has an appointment, Wednesday 19 July, with the most awaited and undoubtedly the most difficult stage of this 110th edition of the Tour de France. The day after the individual time trial and a few days before the finish on the Champs-Elysées, the organizers decided to revive, if necessary, the last rides on the Alpine peaks.

What is the profile?

Four climbs listed, one steeper than the other. This is the menu reserved for the runners of the Grande Boucle on the queen stage of this 2023 edition, 165.7 kilometers long, between Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc and Courchevel. “The stage presents itself as a great challenge, with more than 5,000 meters of difference in altitude to face or exploit throughout the day”summarizes Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour.

From kilometer 28, the Col des Saisies (1st category, 13.4km at 5.1%) will wake up the peloton before starting, immediately after the intermediate sprint of Beaufort, the second difficulty of the day, the famous and hearty Cormet de Roselend (1st category, 19.9km at 6%). With 60 kilometers to go, the course is embellished, for the first time in the history of the Tour, by the Longefoy coast (2nd category, 6.6 km at 7.5%).

The final climb will follow, the one that the public awaits and the riders fear: the Col de la Loze (out of category, 28.1 km at 6%). In the final it will in particular be a question of revisiting the imposing Col de la Loze before diving into Courchevel where he will remain fighting on the altiport track mounted with an 18% difference in altitude”explains Christian Prudhomme.

The profile of the 17th stage of the 2023 Tour de France, between Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc and Courchevel (165.7km).  (ASO)

Who are the favourites?

This is one of the last opportunities for the favorites to battle it out at altitude, with the exception of Saturday’s stage at Markstein, the scene of a final battle of champions. After the demonstration of Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) during the individual time trial, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) has no choice. Almost two minutes late, he will have to attack the Dane to try to recover. But the task promises to be difficult since his rival took the psychological advantage during the time trial and since the difference in mountains between these two Cadores is negligible. The yellow jersey could also decide to deal the fatal blow to the Slovenian to secure his second Tour de France.

In addition to the favorite duo, there are other serious candidates at the start. Some leaders behind in the general classification might be tempted to aim for stage wins like David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), who has to make up time on his opponents if he wants to be in the top 5 of the general classification, Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Felix Gall (AG2R-Citroën Team) or Thomas Pidcock (Ineos-Grenadiers). Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), looking for a stage win for his last dance on the Grande Boucle, could do well, as well as Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) who will want to consolidate his polka dot jersey in this mountain stage.

What are the hours?

12:00: start of the broadcast on France 2 e
12.20pm: fictitious departure from Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc
12.30pm: actual departure (change to France 3 at 12.55pm, return to France 2 at 3pm)
5.03pm: Expected arrival (at an average of 36km/h) in Courchevel

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