Stage 13: Châtillon-Sur-Chalaronne to Grand Colombier – 138 km
Date: July 14, 2023
Stage type: Mountain
What to watch for: It’s Bastille Day! The French riders will of course want this one. Can David Gaudu pull one over on the rest?
Stage summary: Tour organizers have been keen on this sort of stage as of late. There isn’t much to separate the peloton ahead of the final test, an hors categorie slog up the 17.4 km Grand Colombier. That means tactics won’t really play a part in this stage. It’s a power test for the GC favorites.
There is a lump of a climb in the Col de la Lèbe before the Colombier, but after a short steep section early on it levels out and shouldn’t present any problems for even half-decent climbers.
The Grand Colombier itself is a monster. The length means there’s no hiding; a bad day could be catastrophic. The climb stair-steps a bit, with three distinct difficult sections. The second kilometer of the climb, 15 km from the finish, averages over 10%. Then kilometers 5-7 sit over 11%. Kilometers 10-12, with just 5 km to go, offer a final opportunity, sitting around 9.5%.
At this point, wind will play a part. The climb turns to the north for its final, flatter kilometers. If riders face a headwind, the top favorites will be less likely to go for it on that last steep section. If they have a tailwind, out of the south, we could see attacks fly with about 5 km to go.
Dane Cash’s picks: Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar are obvious picks for a stage ending on the Grand Colombier. Felix Gall, Mike Woods, Mikel Landa, and Egan Bernal are others to watch, and it’s also Bastille Day, so there will be plenty of motivation for French riders like, for instance, Warren Barguil.
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