Tour de France Stage 11 Preview
Wednesday, July 7
Up and down the Ventoux x 2
Climbing Mont Ventoux twice rather than once is one of the great attractions of this year’s Tour de France. Before reaching the iconic mountain, we mustn’t overlook the Col de la Liguière, above Apt, a Cat. 1 pass that will cause an initial selection, even though its summit is more than 100 kilometers from the finish. The first Ventoux ascent is via Sault on the Giant of Provence’s “easiest” side. The second ascent is from its most renowned flank via Bédoin. Being an excellent climber won’t be enough, though. The region’s infamous summer heat could exact a powerful toll on this near-six-hour stage, while after again reaching the Ventoux’s almost 2,000-meter (6,000-foot) summit, the riders re-negotiate the super-fast 20-kilometer drop into Malaucène. It’s a finish similar to the one down the steep side of the Aubisque that earned Roglič a solo stage win at the 2018 Tour. The stage looks too tough for a long-distance breakaway to succeed, so look for a climber who can descend super-fast to succeed. Maybe it will be Pogačar, but his UAE troops will have to play defense all day, while the second ascent of the Ventoux will show which of the riders behind him can maintain their top-10 GC positions.
After a 20km descent, at the end of a 130m straight on the 16.2 feet wide Cours des Isnards.
SCHEDULE (all times EDT)
Ceremonial start, Boulevard Roger-Ricca, Sorgues: 6:00 a.m.; start on D16 (after 7.9km neutral to 0km), 6:15 a.m.; Côte de Fontaine-de-Vaucluse (cat. 4, 166.8km to go), 7:04 a.m.; Les Imberts (sprint, 158.7km to go), 7:16 a.m.; Côte de Gordes (Cat. 4, 155.2km to go), 7:23 a.m.; Col de la Liguière (Cat 1, 115.3km to go), 8:29 a.m.; Sault (102.6km to go), 8:44 a.m.; Mont Ventoux (Cat. 1, first crossing, 76.4km to go), 9:44 a.m.; Malaucène (first passage, 56.3km to go), 10:10 a.m.; Bedoin (43.7km to go), 10:26; Mont Ventoux (Hors-Cat + bonus, 22km to go), 11:43 a.m.; Malaucène (finish, 198.9km), 11:36 a.m.
Analysis by Thierry Gouvenou and John Wilcockson.