The 2011 Tour de France picks right up where it left off on Wednesday: in Pinerolo, Turin, Italy. The Alps. The brief excursion in Italy comes to an end on Thursday when the riders leave there and race for Galibier Serre-Chevalier.
Before the grinding portion of the race, the cyclists will first run into the sprint at Verzuolo 43 kilometers into the race. Stage 18 features three Category H climbs, the first at Agnel. It's a 23.7 kilometer climb at a 6.5 percent incline. Then the Col d'Izoard comes at 145.5 kilometers. It's the shortest of the three climbs at 14.1 kilometers.
Col du Galibier will become the point of highest elevation at the finish line in the history of the race. It's a 22.8 kilometer climb to the finish line, which is 2,645 meters above sea level.
Thomas Voeckler still wears the yellow jersey, but he lost precious seconds in his lead when he went off the course and into a yard on Stage 17. Will the Schleck Bros., Cadel Evans or someone else make a move on Voeckler on Thursday?
VERSUS begins its coverage at 5 a.m. MT for this alpine stage.