UnknownTDF - Stage 18 - Briançon

The alpine town of Briançon. Photo by  Raffaele Sergi . Licenced through  Creative Commons

The alpine town of Briançon. Photo by Raffaele Sergi. Licenced through Creative Commons

Today the race starts to gain some serious altitude with Col d’Izoard, Col du Galibier and Col de Vars.

Expect another big breakaway going up the road early and then the terrain of the day sorting them out with the stronger riders to rising to the top. One place this could happen is the “Le ramp de Briançon”, a nasty surprise. It is at the bottom of the long descent off the Col d’Izoard and is that start point of the climbing that takes them through the valley all the way to the summit of the Col du Galibier. The strong riders of the break who have coasted down the descent could well use it as a launchpad to shake off any weak riders who managed to get back on during the descent.