After a day’s break, the peloton should have recovered from the fatigue of Sunday’s daunting stage between Cluses and Tignes. This time, the 190.7 km long route between Albertville and Valence is to the advantage of the sprinters.
The eye of Thierry Gouvenou, the technical director of the event
“There, we give hope to the sprinters who have been a little in difficulty the previous days (smiles). We made it as easy as possible. Be careful, however, not to neglect the small comma that we will come to the south of Valence. Because there is often wind in the Rhône valley. Sometimes it doesn’t take much for the bunch to split into several pieces. There, it is a little conducive to that. I am thinking of the risk of curbs 20 or 15 km from the finish, near Chabeuil. Otherwise, this step should not escape the sprinters. “
Albertville, the bad memory of 1998
On July 29, 1998, the 17th stage of the Tour takes place between Albertville and Aix-les-Bains over a 149 km race. It was completely neutralized by the peloton, which protested against the custody of the riders of the TVM team. Three teams even go so far as to withdraw from the Big Loop: Once, Banesto and Riso Scotti. After 32 km, the peloton stops for the first time. Laurent Jalabert and the entire Once team are leaving the Tour. At the Col de Semnoz, the runners stop again. At the top, the public, very hostile and aggressive, causes a third stop. When supplying Lescheraines, the Riso Scotti as well as the Banesto dismount.
Sprinters, kings in Valence?
Can Mark Cavendish still get closer to Eddy Merckx in the number of victories in the Tour? The Englishman, who won twice in the first week, now has 32. He is only two lengths behind the Belgian record holder. At 36, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick Step), the Green Jersey seems to have regained its best level, but he will have to be particularly wary of the Habs Nacer Bouhanni (Arkea-Samsic), already three times on the podium or of Sonny Colbrelli ( Bahrain), finished 3rd… in Tignes.
Nacer Bouhanni is motivated like never before. It can give a hard time to the Green Jersey, Mark Cavendish, big favorite, but also tired by Sunday’s stage.