Saturday, July 13, 2013

2013 Tour de France: Tomorrow, Mont Ventoux

Tomorrow, on Bastille Day, more than 500,000 spectators are expected to line the finishing climb of Mont Ventoux. It will be only the 15th appearance of the "Giant of Provence" in the Tour's 110 year history. Stage 15 will also be the longest of this year's Tour, 242.5km and the highest at 1,912m.

Six times a stage has crossed Mont Ventoux, only once won by an Italian rider: Eros Poli in 1994.

Eight times a stage has finished at the summit of Mont Ventoux, only once won by an Italian rider: Marco Pantani in 2000.

Tour de France's view of tomorrow's stage: "This stage is the longest of this 100th Tour. It is also one of the most prestigious because nobody wins by chance on the Ventoux, especially not on 14 July? There are two scenarios: either a group gets away from a long way out and maintains enough of an advantage for the escapees to fight it between themselves; or the leaders shut down the race as far as the foot of the climb, transforming the stage into one enormous hill-climb! Depending on the weather, a lot of damage could be done today. Imagine what it could be like if there's blazing heat all day? Whether you're in the yellow jersey or not, if you do badly on this climb you will lose a quarter of an hour!"

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