Will Pogacar be able to unlock Vingegaard? Follow the last Alpine stage between Saint-Gervais and Courchevel

A daunting plan for an equally daunting dream. On the route of the 17th stage of the Tour de France between Saint-Gervais (Haute Savoie) and Courchevel (Savoy), two 1st category passes, before the “roof” of the Tour, the Col de la Loze, 28 km of ascent, classified out of category, which will take the riders to an altitude of 2,300 metres. Could this choice menu for Wednesday July 19 inspire a Tadej Pogacar? The Slovenian surrendered in the 20km time trial on Tuesday, ten times more than in two weeks of hand-to-hand combat with rival Jonas Vingegaard. It is however one of his last chances to steal the yellow jersey from the Dane from here to the Champs-Elysées. Follow our live.

Col de la Loze, a real scarecrow. It is only the second time that the Grande Boucle has taken this “21st century Galibier”, made practicable since the last seven kilometers from the Méribel altiport were paved a few months before the Tour’s first pass in 2020. The last five kilometers average more than 10% on uneven gradient, with peaks at 24%. This hellish sequence of bumps and small flat areas comes after 150km of racing. In total, the stage displays 5,100 meters of altitude difference.

Penultimate opportunity to overturn the general classification. For the yellow jersey as for the second, there are two stages left, that of Wednesday and that of Markstein, in Alsace, on the eve of the finish, to get things going. We can imagine that riders who have lost a lot in the time trial, or who want to reach the top 5 or top 10, will let go. Either on the last pass or in a big offensive from further away. Furthermore, the fight for the polka dot jersey (points are significantly doubled at the top of the Col de la Loze) will favor the formation of a breakaway from the start.

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