The longest stage of this year’s Tour de France awaits the peloton after Monday’s rest day with the riders set to be tested by plenty of categorised climbs on the 237.5km from Carcassonne to Bagneres du Luchon.
This could be another opportunity for a breakaway win depending on the willingness of the General Classification riders to race with two more tough days in the Pyrenees to follow.
Oliver Yew takes a look at three contenders for victory on Stage 16 of Le Tour…
If there’s one thing Thomas Voeckler loves it’s a breakaway victory at the Tour de France.
In the earlier stages of this race we have seen the Frenchman test the waters in breaks but he has not had the legs so far to record a fifth individual stage win at the world’s biggest road bicycle race.
With the end of the Tour in sight expect the Team Europcar rider to be targeting glory to add to his 2009, 2010 and 2012 wins.
The Italian has been in tremendous form so far and, if he chooses to, this could be the stage he puts the race for the yellow jersey to bed.
No rider in the peloton has been able to match race leader Nibali and if he chooses to go for glory again in Bagneres du Luchon it’s difficult to see who can stop him taking his fourth stage victory of the race.
But with more testing mountain stages to come in the next few days the only danger is if the Astana rider takes more of a back seat.
The race for the King of the Mountains jersey is heating up with Rodriguez and Rafal Majka both locked on 88 points.
With five big climbs to tackle expect both men to be near the front and if either man has the legs after the rest day they will be in contention for the stage win.
The Spaniard came into Le Tour short of confidence but has produced some promising performances and is targeting success in the Pyrenees.
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