Everything you need to know about the race and its side effects with the eighteenth stage of the Tour de France, the last meeting in the mountains ending with a formidable ascent to Hautacam.
Profile of the stage: Lourdes-Hautacam (143.2 km)
Make way for the last mountain stage of the Tour de France 2022 and a dessert which will inevitably offer great opportunities to climbers who have not yet won a victory this year. The profile is quite similar to that of Thursday with a fairly calm first part of the route for 63.7 km before the ascent of the first difficulty of the day, the Col de l’Aubisque, classified out of category (16.4 to 7 ,1%). As in the 17th stage, the difficulties will be linked with zero transition in the plain. The Col de Spandelle follows (10.3 km at 8.3%) before the final climb to Hautacam, a classic over the last decades (13.6 km at 7.8 km) where the differences can quickly increase in the event of failure. .
The actual start is set at 1:40 p.m. and the estimated arrival at 5:38 p.m. with an average speed of 36 km/h.
France 3 from 1.20 p.m. then France 2 at 3 p.m.
On Wednesday, Tadej Pogacar blew Jonas Vingegard a stage for the second time with a finish at the top as the Dane had launched the sprint first to win. This Thursday, we are betting on a victory for the yellow jersey which seems untouchable, glued to the wheel of the Slovenian. The explanation between the men should take place in the climb of Hautacam, but this time to the advantage of the leader of the Jumo-Visma who made it clear on Wednesday evening that the finish was more favorable to his style.
Not to be missed on the course:
Do we still need to present Lourdes, city of Jean-Pierre Garuet (rugby) and its famous sanctuary, the largest center of Catholic pilgrimage in France? The city of the Hautes-Pyrénées is hosting the Tour de France for the sixth time in its history, like Hautacam, a town of 420 inhabitants which regularly welcomes astronomy lovers. The station is labeled International Starry Sky Reserve with a night gazebo for observing the sky. Located just over an hour by car, the Cirque de Gavarnie is an exceptional site located at an altitude of 3000 meters with the highest waterfalls in Europe, 427 m. A paradise for hikers.
The specialty to get your teeth into:
The towns being separated by only half an hour by car, you can taste the same specialties in Lourdes and Hautacam. Test at least once the black pork of Bigorre, or the Barèges-Gavarnie mutton (rather towards the city-arrival), accompanied by cheeses from the Pyrenees and a cake on the spit.
The expression of the day: “Running like a rat”
The supreme insult in a breakaway to designate a rider who does not participate in the collective effort of the group by taking over. Behaving like a profiteer is never appreciated in the peloton.
Ex: “I remember him, he ran like a rat during the whole stage!”