Finally the real battle for the overal victory begins.

How many 1st and HC category climbs can you put in a 133,5 km (actually less than 100 km) long road? The orginizers  managed to make 4! This is the queen stage of the race, and the question is  not only which GC-rider is in the best shape, but  even who has the stronger (strongest) team?

Col de l’Epine ((7,6 km à 7,2%), the  first arcent of the day begins with 98 km to go, but there is no time to have a break, the  Col du Granier (12,0 km à 5,8%) and the Col de Marcieu (10,4 km à 6,1%) follow eachother inmediately.

The last climb is the HC category Montée de Pipay (19,0 km à 6,9%), a hilltop finish. A steadily rising ascent with 4 “easier” parts.

Adam Yates and the Mitchelton-SCOTT have to defend the yellow jersey, and  the best defend is usualy a good offense. Propably a bit stroger team has Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) with his longtime companion Sebastian Reichenbach and Rudy Molard, but also David Gaudu is in the team, who can not only help Pinot, but earn his own success either.

An exciting question is how the the strategy of Ineos changed after Chris Froome had to abandon the race. Michał Kwiatwkoski or Wout Poels could be the right answer. Or maybe both of them? Kwiatkowski as a man in a succesful breakaway and Poels in a team leader position.

A right move in the right moment from Nairo Quitana (Movistar) is always to be expected,  and of course it’s worth to watch Romain Bardet (AG2R), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates), Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma), Tom Dumoulin*  and Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) too.

And don’t forget Emanuel Buchmann (BORA-hansgrohe).

( *Tom Dumoulin abandoned the race before the start of the 7th stage)

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