After a flat day the tour goes right back to the mountains. Stage 15 features five categorized climbs. Starting with the category 1 Col du Berthiand. Then at 23 km riders will face a series of lower category and non categorized climbs leading to the category 3 Col de Pisseloup at the halfway point and peaking at around 79 km. There's not a single flat section on the course save for the two runs through Culoz. The real test for riders will come at 100 km where riders start to climb the Hors Categorie Grand Colombier, a 12.8 km long climb with an average gradient near 7%. This climb is followed by the Category 1 Lacets du Grand Colombier, which is actually part of the descent off of the same HC climb from a different approach, as the course double backs on itself, before descending back to the finish.
|Stage Distance||159.44 km|
|Avg. Peloton Speed||35.98 km/h|
|Avg. Pulling Power||333.26 watts|
|Avg. Pulling Yaw||3.45 °|
For the first time in a week the wind will not be a big factor. Forecasted conditions call for low wind under 10 km/h that will actually be predominant tail wind throughout the course. Riders will have to contend with more heat as temperatures will continue to be in the mid to upper 20s throughout the day.
The GC will continue to mark each other and Sky will be happy to control the race. Multiple early breaks could open up across the early climbs. The GC riders will not worry about these battles for King of the Mountain. If there is any break over the final Category 1 climb the group (or a solo rider) should be able to stay away. Looking at the Time Analysis tool we can see that even just a 20 second lead off the final climb would require a 10% higher power by a chasing group or the peloton to catch up over the final 8 km. Zooming into the final flat section you can add up the segment times to see how hard a chase group would have to push to gain time. A 30 second gain over the top would be nearly insurmountable by a small chase group.
Analysis was performed by modeling the peloton as a single rider using front of the pack drag characteristics and pulling power targets. Take a look at the entire race plan that was used for this analysis, which includes additional features, metrics and downloadable files.
Stage 15 Race Plan: https://www.bestbikesplit.com/client/44550