Preview: 2016 Tour de France Stages 15-21.Sat 16 Jul 2016
The final week of the 103rd Tour de France heads into the Alps for the deciding stages of this year’s race, here is the ORICA-BikeExchange guide to the last seven stages.
Sunday 17th July Stage 15: Bourg-en-Bresse to Culoz, 159km.
A brutal mountain stage that includes eight climbs and two ascents of the Hors category Grand Colombier. Possibly a day for the all round opportunist with the flat sections and technical descents that come in between the climbs ideal terrain for the breakaway specialists.
Monday 18th July Stage 16: Moirans-en-Montagne to Berne, 209km.
Starting in France and finishing in Switzerland this mainly flat and lumpy stage includes a couple of short and steep climbs before the finish in Berne and is anything but predictable. An ideal stage for the puncheur/classics rider who can sprint and also climb, good chance for the breakaway if it’s allowed to escape.
Tuesday 19th July: Rest day.
Wednesday 20th July Stage 17: Berne to Finhault-Emosson, 184.5km.
A pure mountain stage traversing the Swiss/French Alps. The stage includes four categorised climbs including an extremely difficult final 40kilomtres. The arduous summit finish on the Hors category climb up to Finaut-Emosson is much like Mont Ventoux in terms of gradient and difficulty and sets the scene for a spectacular finale.
Thursday 21st July Stage 18: Sallanches to Megeve, ITT, 17km.
The second and final individual time trial of this years Tour and will almost certainly play a huge part in deciding the make up of the final general classification. A tough course with a steady incline for 15kilometres before a sharp final descent to the line.
Friday 22nd July Stage 19: Albertville to Saint-Gervais, 146km.
The penultimate mountain stage that should make for an aggressive day of Alpine racing. Two fist category climbs and the Hors category Montee de Bisanne make for a very challenging parcours with a spectacular summit finish in Saint Gervais Mont Blanc. The stage begins with a climb directly out of the neutral zone and the racing will be full on from kilometre zero.
Saturday 23rd July stage 20: Megeve to Morzine, 146.5km.
The last day in the mountains and the last day of competitive racing, four massive climbs followed by one of the most technically difficult descents in the world of professional cycling. The 14kilometre switchback laden descent from the Col de Joux-Plane will undoubtedly add some spice to a spectacular finale.
Sunday 24th July Stage 21: Chantilly to Paris Champs Elysees, 113km.
Last but not least the ceremonial final day champagne ride to Paris. Traditionally a neutralised stage apart from the sprinters that are left in the race, who will duke it out for glory on the most famous cobbled finish in