Roanne-Montluçon, 165.5km

What will happen?

It’s another lumpy stage today, with two categorised climbs early on, then flattening off towards the finish. Again, it’s probably too hilly for the tired sprinters’ teams to orchestrate a bunch gallop into Montluçon. They’ll save that for Sunday’s final parade into Paris.

Instead we should see another break go clear, gain ten minutes by the time the second categorised climb passes and head all the way into Montluçon largely unchallenged.

The overall contenders will be hiding safely in the bunch, trying to keep out of trouble and conserve every ounce of energy for tomorrow’s decisive individual time trial.

What are the climbs like?

The Third category La Croix du Sud and fourth category Cote de la Croix Rouge both appear in the first 30km of the stage, so are unlikely to play any sort of role in the overall outcome – other than let a break build up a bit of time on the bunch.

Will Sastre stay in yellow?

Yes, definitely. There’s no opportunity for any of the Spaniard’s rivals to put any time into him today. Tomorrow is a very, very different matter…

Who’s wearing the jerseys?

Yellow
Carlos Sastre (CSC)

Green Oscar Freire (Rabobank)

Polka-dot Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner)

White Andy Schleck (CSC)

CW’s tip for the win

It’s going to be another rider low down on GC who’ll prevail in today’s break: which will probably be made up of two Frenchman, a Spaniard and one other. We picked Belgian Philippe Gilbert for the win yesterday and he crashed early on, ruining his chances. We’re going to pick him again today because he’s definitely got a stage win in him and he’s looking for a Tour victory for his FDJeux squad before joining Silence-Lotto next year. A lazy and frankly desperate choice for today’s win. Come on Philippe, make us look good!

RELATED LINK

Stage 19 info: map, profile and fact file



TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: STAGE REPORTS

Stage 18: Burghardt shows that Columbia can win without Cav

Stage 17: Sastre wins on Alpe d’Huez, takes lead

Stage 16: Dessel wins

Stage 15: Schleck takes lead in the Alps

Stage 14: Oscar Freire wins in Digne-les-Bains

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

Schlecks’ father’s car searched

Analysis: tactical battle on L’Alpe d’Huez [stage 17]

Schleck promises to attack main rivals

Schleck ready to defend Tour lead [stage 15]

Rest day news round-up [July 21]

Saunier Duval riders: “We are honest”

Cavendish talks to Cycling Weekly after quitting Tour

Schleck savours first ever Tour de France jersey [stage 15]

Comment: Why Cav is right to go home today

Cavendish pulls out of the Tour

Barloworld to end cycling sponsorship

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 18

Stage 17

Stage 15

Stage 14

Stage 13

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 five

Life at the Tour part four

Life at the Tour part three

Life at the Tour part two

Life at the Tour part one

TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: GUIDE

Tour de France 2008 homepage>>

News and features>>

All the riders (start list, list of abandons)>>

Day by day summary>>

Route & stages>>

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About the Tour>>