Thursday, 14 July 2011
Stage 13 Preview
Stage 13 from Pau to Lourdes is a stage that will especially suit the baroudeurs; the breakaway specialists. With the Aubisque featuring about half way through these men will take the mighty mountain pass in their stride. Approaching from the west, the climb to the Aubisque starts in Laruns. From there, the Aubisque is 16.6 km and rises 1,190m, an average of 7.2%. The first kilometres, to the spa resort of Eaux-Bonnes, are fairly easy. After the Cascade de Valentin comes a section at 13 per cent. From there to the top, the climb is 8 km at eight per cent average, passing the ski resort of Gourette at 1,400m.
There will be attacks tomorrow however with the next days stage being jam packed with climbs the attacks on the Aubisque may be more psychological that determined efforts to shake up the GC. That being said the psychological warfare raging from the Schlecks and directed at Contador and Evans and Basso sizing each other up on Stage 12 we could very well see someone crack under the pressure and go all out on the Aubisque before descending into Lourdes hoping to leave their rivals in the dust of their wheels.