The day after the second rest day the riders in the Tour de France go straight into the mountains. Five categorised climbs are on the route between La Tour-du-Pin and Villard-de-Lans.
The stage has an uphill finish, but not as spectacular as last Sunday‘s Grand Colombier. The stage will be decided on a côte of the third category.
Just before that is the toughest climb of the day, the Montée de Saint-Nizier-du-Moucherotte, an 11 kilometre climb in the first category.
Six times before, a Tour stage finished in Villar-de-Lans and each time a big name was won: Lance Armstrong, Erik Breukink, Laurent Fignon, Pedro Delgado (twice) and Eric Vanderaerden
In 1985 Vanderaerden won the time trial, his third and final stage victory in the Tour. There is no moving image of that victory, because no camera engine was riding with him and when the television broadcast started, he was already inside.
Watch Herman van der Zandt’s preview of Eric Vanderaerden here:
It remains to be seen whether the classification riders will fight each other today. Wednesday the riders will have an Alpine stage with two cols of the outdoor category, with the finish on top of the dreaded Col de la Loze.
The attackers could have a chance just like that. And if you think of attackers in this Tour, Team Sunweb will soon be there. Thanks to Marc Hirschi and Søren Kragh Andersen, the team of manager Iwan Spekenbrink has already booked two stage wins. On the rest day, the team management has made plans for the final week.
Sunweb does not play a role in the general classification: Kragh Andersen and Hirschi are the highest on the 57th and 58th place, more than two hours behind watchman Primoz Roglic.