The Tour de France moves into the mountains and now’s the time we will see the General Classification riders come to the fore.
Stage 13 sees the race move from Saint Etienne to Chamrousse with the peloton travelling 197.5km through three Category climbs, finishing with a final climb towards the finish line at the Montée de Chamrousse.
On what promises to be a testing day for the riders Oliver Yew takes a look at three to watch out for as the race for the yellow jersey heats up…
Chris Froome’s withdrawal from the race has opened an opportunity for Richie Poprte to lead Team Sky and have a crack at Tour de France glory.
So far Vicenzo Nibali has been the dominant force over the climbs with two stage victories to his name but Porte will be looking forward to the test Stage 13 will provide.
With more long climbs during this stage the Australian rider could look to impose himself on this race, bringing the 29-year-old into contention for the win on day 14 of Le Tour.
The Italian has been in fine form so far winning two stages and taking the yellow jersey as we near the end of the second week of the race.
One of the key strengths in Nibali’s armoury is his ability to fly down the descents but with the final climb of the day so long – the last 30km is mainly uphill – there should be no attacks on the way down from Palaquit.
Tomorrow’s stage could be more suited to a Nibali attack but if he can repeat his form of the earlier stages he will be a major player at the finish.
Rodriguez is the man currently in possession of the Polka Dot jersey and with the race moving into the Alps the Spaniard will want to stay in the hunt for the stage victory, picking up king of the mountain points along the way.
Only the powerful performance of Nibali denied him victory on Stage 10 of this year’s race and he will be hoping to put that right when the race reaches Chamrousse.
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