Stage 15: Les Gets Les Portes Du Soleil to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc – 180 km
Date: July 16, 2023
Stage type: Mountain
What to watch for: Small gaps could hold on this stage with few flat sections.
Stage summary: A fitting cap to an incredibly difficult few days in the Alps. This stage takes in five categorized climbs (though the cat 2 and HC at the end are really one climb with a very short descent between them) and has some sneaky difficult moments long before the finish.
The Col de la Forclaz Montmin, ridden from the wider but steeper north side, is 90 kilometers from the finish and looks like a potential springboard. If a last-ditch, long-range attack were needed by one of the contenders, this might be the place to do it. The front side is steep, over 10% for its latter half. Crucially, the descent is narrow, no more than one lane in places. A few seconds over the top and a bit of daredevil descending could see somebody go free.
The finale, while technically two climbs, is effectively just one. Waking tired legs up after a long descent near the end of a stage can be difficult, which means the 16% grades at the base of the Amerands could be a make-or-break moment for any GC favorite. Have a bad moment there and there isn’t much time to come back on the 7% average grade up Bettex to Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc.
Dane Cash’s picks: At this point, it’s hard to see any one breakaway rider as a strong favorite to get and stay clear here, whereas it’s much easier to see first Tadej Pogačar and second Jonas Vingegaard as favorites to win from the GC group. If the break does get clear, the usual names (Mike Woods, Felix Gall, and Giulio Ciccone) are riders to watch.
What did you think of this story?