Looking forward to today's non-Pyrenees, non-Alps mountain stage. Partly because we're sending a reporter to a cafe in San Francisco where some local riders watch the Tour, and I'm hoping we get a nice radio story out of it. But mostly because the climbs on the stage, which includes one Category 1 pass, the Col du Platzerwasel, have the potential to touch off some fireworks. Here's the course profile, from the Tour site:
Here are some more detailed look at some of the passes on the route:
And last, here's what one rider had to say about the stage (yesterday, from Agence France-Presse):
Lance Armstrong has warned the 13th stage of the Tour de France Friday could be a source of trouble when the riders tackle the 8.7km-long Col du Platzerwasel’s monster climb.
On paper, the 200km hilly ride from Vittel to Colmar looks easy compared to some of the mammoth climbs during a three-day spell in the Alps which starts Sunday.
But Armstrong says the Platzerwasel, whose summit is 62km from the finish, will sort the men from the boys.
“The climb up Col du Platzerwasel will be difficult, it is a long way and it will be a real stage,” said Armstrong.