When Friday July 17
Impact on overall: 1/5
Where are we?
Today takes us north-east, leaving the Pyrenees behind and heading into the département of Aveyron, and the foothills of the Massif Central. Muret is the fifth town on the route so far to have made its Tour debut, and you can be sure that the locals will be looking to send the riders on their way with plenty of enthusiasm.
Rodez features for the third time, having last appeared in 2010 as the start of the 13th stage to Revel, which was won by Kazakhstan’s Alexandre Vinokourov.
What’s on the route?
This will be a lumpy stage, and long too — the third-longest stage of the 2015 Tour — but nothing that those riders and teams in the hunt for the various jersey classifications can’t handle.
There will certainly be some very tired legs in the bunch, with the second rest day still four days away. The chances of a breakaway getting clear and, more importantly, staying clear, really depend on just how tired the peloton as a whole is feeling at this point of the race.
Look for the sprinters’ teams to be searching their rosters for the men who are capable of getting over the smaller climbs that feature on this 13th stage. It’ll be lucky for someone: think Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff, who won two similarly ‘transitional’ stages at last year’s race, or Giant-Alpecin’s John Degenkolb — this year’s Paris-Roubaix winner, who has proved he’s as versatile a rider as they come.
Or will this be a stage for a rider like Tinkoff-Saxo’s Peter Sagan to come good? Since changing teams in the off-season, the Slovakian has not been having as ‘winning’ a season in 2015 as he’s used to, and so will be looking for his first Tour stage win since 2013. This kind of day should be right up his alley.