Embrun – Prato Nevoso 183km

What will happen?

All eyes will be on the top six riders overall. And they will have their eyes on each other. Just over a minute-and-a-half separates them but by tonight the picture will be very different, we suspect. It’s probable a group will go away before the first climb and gradually tire before the last ascent to Prato Nevoso. This is where twin races will happen – one for the stage win, the other for the yellow jersey.

What are the climbs like?

The hors categorie Col Agnel is tough but it’s so early in the stage that it won’t do too much damage. Prato Nevoso is not as hard as Alpe d’Huez, for example, but with the rest day tomorrow, there won’t be much holding back. It’s 11.4km long at an average gradient of 6.9 per cent, so it’s enough for a bit of a sort out.

Will Evans stay in yellow?

Who knows? Really, it’s impossible to say. He’s still bruised and it has to be said, holding the yellow jersey for four days is not a stress-free job – even if you have got Lance Armstrong’s former bodyguard Serge Borlee for protection. It means a long wait around at the finish, for the podium, the interviews, the dope control and some nights it can be two or more hours before you reach the hotel. The others have not had to endure that. And Evans’s lead is so, so slim. If he were to crack in the last 300 metres, he could lose it. He really does have to watch everyone – and that’s not going to be easy.

Who’s wearing the jerseys?

Yellow
Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto)

Green Oscar Freire (Rabobank)

Polka-dot Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner)

White Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas)

CW’s tip for the win

Someone from Saunier Duval. Ho, ho. We’re only joshing. After the Pyrenees were rendered pointless, from the point of view of the validity of the stage winners, let’s hope that whoever wins is not on drugs and is actually a believable victor. That’s a total cop-out, we know, so we’ll say Maxime Montfort.



TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: STAGE REPORTS

Stage 13: Cavendish takes fourth win

Stage 12: Cavendish makes it three

Stage 11: Arvesen wins

Stage 10: Evans takes yellow jersey by one second

Stage nine: Ricco wins in the Pyrenees

Stage eight: Cavendish wins again in Toulouse

Stage seven: Sanchez takes action-packed stage

Stage six: Ricco storms to win

Stage five: Cavendish takes first Tour win

Stage four: Schumacher wins TT and takes race lead

Stage three: Dumoulin wins stage from break

Stage two: Hushovd wins chaotic sprint

Stage one: Valverde wins

TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: NEWS

Ricco speaks on Italian television

Cavendish joins the all-time greats

Saunier Duval sack Ricco and Piepoli

Tour bosses say fight against doping continues

Ricco denies doping at the Tour

Saunier Duval pull out of Tour

Tour’s top ten changes

Ricco positive for EPO at Tour

Analysis: Tour de France rest day summary

Cavendish battles through Pyrenees

Evans suffers but takes yellow jersey [stage 10]

Analysis: Hautacam shakes up 2008 Tour

Ricco silences critics with solo attack in Pyrenees [stage nine]

Cavendish talks about his second stage win [stage eight]

Beltran heads home but doubts remain about other Tour riders

David Millar: the dope controls are working

Manuel Beltran tests positive for EPO at the Tour

Comment: How the Tour rediscovered its spirit

Doping back in Tour de France headlines

Millar: close but no cigar in Super-Besse [stage six]

Super-Besse shows form of main contenders [stage six]

Millar to go for yellow [stage six]

Team Columbia’s reaction to Cavendish’s win [stage five]

Cavendish talks about his Tour stage win

Tour comment: Why Evans should be happy [stage four]

Millar: Still aiming for Tour yellow jersey [stage 4]

Who is Romain Feillu?

Cavendish disappointed with stage two result

Millar too close to Tour yellow jersey

Stage 2 preview: A sprint finish for Cavendish?

Millar happy after gains precious seconds in Plumelec

Valverde delighted with opening Tour stage win

Comment: Is Valverde’s win a good thing for the Tour?

TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: PHOTOS

Stage 12

Stage 11

Stage 11

Stage 10

Stage nine

Stage eight

Stage seven

Stage six

Stage five

Stage four

Stage three

Stage two

Stage one

TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: BLOGS

Life at the Tour part three

Life at the Tour part two

Life at the Tour part one

TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: GUIDE

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