Tuesday, 18 July 2017
2017 Tour de France: Stage 16 Preview – could be windy
Stage 16: Le Puy-en-Velay to Romans-sur-Isère 165 kms
There are just six more stages to decide the 2017 Tour de France – at this point the closest Tour ever! In reality it is only five for the overall classification as the ride into Paris is ceremonial, except for the sprinters at the end.
After a lumpy start this shortish stage descends down to the Rhône Valley for a fairly flat last 50 kilometres. This may be a day for the sprinters but the last kilometre is uphill so may not fully suit Marcel Kittel. Will Michael Matthews try to escape on the climb out of Le Puy? Could an overall contender be caught napping right at the start?
Wind in the Rhône Valley is the other complication – forecast to average 30 kms with gusts up to 60 kms. We could well see some splits in the peloton and perhaps some overall contenders lose valuable time – equally gain some valuable time.