Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Stage 17 Preview: Schleck's last chance for revenge

After a second and final rest day in Pau, the latest a second rest day has come since its introduction in 1999, the riders will once more ascend to the spectacular summit of the Col du Tourmalet. With Schleck having lost his prized jersey to rival Contador, he will be looking to make as much time over his rival before the Time Trial on Saturday.

Starting in Pau, a 62 time stage town, the peloton will travel 174km climbing the Col de Marie-Blanque and the Col de Solour before heading up to the Col du Tourmalet. Perched at an altitude of 2115 meters, the Col has been climbed 73 times in Tour history, making it the most climbed peak in the Tour.

A final battle to sort the hierarchy of the GC will be fought and the winner will surely take the Maillot Jaune from here all the way to the podium in Paris on Sunday. With the dice being thrown up one final time, they really could land anywhere. But if Schleck wants to regain the jersey he lost on stage 15 he will have to execute a calculated coup de grace with all the cunning of the Tour winner he wishes to be.

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