A double lap of the famous Alpe d’Huez will involve arduous climbing and tricky descending.
The live blog for stage 18 of the Tour de France will begin at 10pm.
Try our live Tour tracker! It’ll help you keep, er, track. Open it in a separate window by clicking here.
Some reading while we wait for live coverage to kick in …
Here’s Rupert Guinness’ report on last night’s individual time trial:
Chris Froome wins 17th stage of Tour de France
And a report on Cadel Evans, who sleep-rolled through yesterday’s TT …
Frustrated Evans switches his sights to stage win
Rugby league legend Roy Masters writes on … cycling? Yes, believe it or not, he does.
He recently had a ride in the Orica-GreenEDGE team car, and writes about it here:
“My bonus was to be travelling in Orica GreenEDGE’s lead race car as it chased the breakaway group on the Vaison la Romaine to Gap leg of the 100th Tour. Gerry Ryan’s team had two riders in the group, including 23-year-old Cameron Meyer, who was riding in his first Tour.
“He had signed a new two-year contract the day before, and was keen to offer an instant reward. With the steep ascent to Gap looming, he calmly told the race driver Neil Stephens his strategy. “I’ve got to go early,” he told Stephens, a former Tour stage winner. “There are too many good climbers in the breakaway group, particularly [Rui] Costa.”
Read the rest here.
Here’s our man on the Tour, Rupert Guinness.
There had been talk of cutting out the second lap of the Alpe d’Huez, if the weather turned grisly. Rupert doesn’t reckon it’s gonna happen.
“Just got here. Crowds are huge. Dutch corner going off. Aloe stinks of clutch. Reckon they’ll do 2 x l’Alpe. It would have to be a massive turn of weather.”
La carte! Seen from above it looks almost innocuous, really. North out of Gap, and almost seeming to skirt the Hautes-Alpes. Well, maybe, for a while, but then at the end, it gets really stuck in.
Twice. Yes, if the weather holds, the riders will be tackling the 21 hairpins of the Alpe d’Huez, then descending via the Col de Sarenne, and doing it all again for luck.
100km to go!
Stage 18 promises to be the most exciting stage of this 100th edition of the Tour de France.
While we wait for the live TV to get through the recap, a bit of news.
There is breakaway. Repeat, there is … oh forget it, there was always going to be a breakaway.
Nine riders have gone clear. They are some 6min 30sec ahead of the bunch. None of their number threatens the lead of Froome. But there are some famous names included.
Chavanel, Van Garderen …
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.