When Tuesday, July 12
Category Medium mountains
Impact on GC 2/5
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After the long slog up the Port d’Envalira, the summit of which is the Andorran border with France, the riders plunge down the Arige Valley and through a very different part of the Pyrenees.
The Ariège is limestone country, where most of the rest of the mountain range is much older granite. It’s a place of deep gorges and lots of caves. It’s also one of the oldest inhabited places in France.
Once out of the Ariège, the route changes direction a lot, but goes generally north towards Revel, where there is a very tough climb before the finish. It is six kilometres long and quite steep in places. It won’t be a bunch sprint today.
This could suit somebody with an adventurous spirit. A determined early attack on the Envalira could potentially gain an audacious rider a lot of time.
Chris Froome (Sky) goes into the stage in the overall race lead after the 2016 Tour’s first rest day by a slim 16-second margin over Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange). Although Froome will have to be wary – a GC leader always has to be wary – today may be more about the green jersey than yellow. It seems like a good day for Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) to try and reclaim the points classification lead from Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data).
There may also be an early scrap for the KOM points on offer on the Port d’Envalira – expect to see a polka-dot clad Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) in the escape.