Stage 15: Givours to Mt. Ventoux

The Tour makes for great viewing, but not everyone has the time to watch all 21 stages of the race. Here are the key stages to tune in for this year.

The lunar landscape of Ventoux.     Photo: Allie Caulfield/Flickr

Everything about this day promises an epic. It’s the Tour’s longest stage, so riders will have to mete out their energy wisely to be ready for the day’s finishing climb up the Mt. Ventoux. Falling on Bastille day, the stage should attract massive crowds and encourage the French racers to make the stage hard on everyone in their race independence day glory. Finally, the GC favorites should be keen to ride all-out knowing that they’ll be able to recover on the following rest day—and fully aware that their rivals will have the whole day to stew over their losses.

The Ventoux is a massive, singular, imposing mountain that’s crowned many a legend, including Charly Gaul, Raymond Poulidor, Eddy Merckx, and Marco Pantani, and the favorites will be looking to add their names to that illustrious list. The 20.8-kilometer climb finishes on a wide-open moonscape, which makes for dramatic footage, though if the winds are blowing down from the top, as is often the case, it could be tough for the climbers to open big gaps.

Distance: 242.5 km
Date: 7/14

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