The 2011 Tour de France makes one last endurance run in the Pyrenees on Saturday. There will be a total of six climbs for the cyclists, the Category H one coming at the summit finish line in Plateau de Beille. Stage 14 begins at Saint-Gaudens and twists and turns its way through the mountains near the border with Spain.
Those climbs come at Col de Portet-d'Aspet (Category 2), Col de la Core (Category 1), Col de Latrape (Category 2), Col d'Agnes (Category 1), Port de Lers (Category 3) and Plateau de Beille (Category H). The one at Core comes at 62.5 km and goes for 14.1 km. Plateau de Beille is a 15.8 km climb to the finish. The sprint comes after the first climb.
The frequency of the climbs here could make or break the race for a number of riders. As Jean-Francois Pescheux points out in his take on this stage:
Note also, that every rider who has previously won at Plateau de Beille has gone on to the win the Tour that same year…
Will that hold true this year? We'll have another week of racing before that will be determined, but stick with VERSUS at 4:30 a.m. MT for live coverage of the race.
For in-depth coverage of the race, visit out cycling blog, Podium Cafe, and our SB Nation StoryStream.