Judgement Day | Tour de France 2019 Stage 20 Preview


– It has been a fantastic
Tour de France so far and stage 20 looks set to
be somewhat of an encore to what’s been a brutal race. The GC battle has been hotly contested over the last three weeks,
but whether or not stage 20 proves to be decisive for
the overall classification is actually irrelevant. Nobody can start to think
about the processional ride into Paris until they cross
the finish line in Val Thorens. (upbeat music) 130 kilometers, over
three mountain passes, and nearly 5,000 meters of climbing. No matter how you look at it, stage 20 is going to be an epic. (upbeat music) The stage hasn’t actually even started yet and already we’re going uphill. On stage 20 on tired
legs, this is not going to be the most enjoyable neutralize zone. Got a kilometer to go to the start and I’m pretty sure it’s all uphill. Here we are, according
to the commute route that I made and put on my
Wahoo, this is the start of stage 20 of the Tour de France. 131 kilometers, three mountain passes, and just under 5,000 meters of climbing. It’s going to be a tough one. (upbeat music) Albertville is a more frequent stage host at the Tour de France than
Val Thorens, the stage finish, although this will only be
its fifth ever stage start and all of those have been since 1998, so it is quite a recent addition. (upbeat music) Right, the valley road is over. That was 18 kilometers
of gentle ups and downs. On the whole, it was pretty fast though. Certainly having a tail
wind did help a little bit. The surfaces were changeable,
quite a bit of new tarmac actually in different places
which made it quite a nice road to start the day on. That’s all changed now
though, as we’re now on the lowest slopes of
the Cormet de Roselend which rises to 1,968 meters
over the next 19 kilometers and it really saps your speed. At this stage of the climb,
I should be getting worried because my legs hurt, I’m suffering, and it says there’s still
13 kilometers remaining, but, luckily, four kilometers
of that, I’m pretty much pan flat at the top. I mean pan flat, as close to that as you get in a mountain range. I only have 700 meters of
elevation left to gain, which actually isn’t too bad. Cormet de Roselend is a climb of two parts and, as you may be able to
tell, I’ve made it to the top of part one which is
1,605 meters to the summit of Col du Meraillet, or however
the locals pronounce it. The average gradient for
the entire climb is only 6% which isn’t steep, but
you do have to factor in that the next section
actually drops down a little bit, so the ramps are in fact
quite a bit steeper than 6%. (upbeat music) A climb of two parts. The main climb is the Col du Meraillet, but there is a continuation
after this all-category climb of a farther four kilometers
to the Cormet de Roselend. Used nine times in the history of le tour, this summit is reached after
20 kilometers of uphill. It is by no means easy, having
already climbed 1,247 meters in one hit. While it’s not overly
well known as a climb, there is a famous picture
from 1996 of Johan Bruyneel crashing into a ravine on the descent. That day was also famous for
being the day Miguel Indurain would finally crack off attempting to win a sixth Tour de France. (upbeat music) Right, that’s climb number one. Cormet de Roselend out of the way. 1,968 meters, climbing just
over 1,200 meters in one hit. Yes, there are a couple
of gentle plateaus, but if you’re in the
grupetto that just means you’re going to have to try
even harder to catch back up. We’ve got a long descent
now to the cat two climb, which is the second climb of the day. If you’re in the grupetto,
this just means you’re going to be chasing really, really hard,
and if you’re at the front of the race, you’re going
to be trying equally hard to make sure the difference you’ve made on climb number one is sustained. (upbeat music) We’re coming to a slightly
more technical section here, but further on the mountain,
it was open, it was fast, the surface was good. I would not be at all surprised
if we don’t hear riders doing excess of 120 kilometers an hour. (upbeat music) The second climb of today’s
stage, Côte de Longefoy, and it was 6.6 kilometers and 6.5% which doesn’t sound that bad,
but that is a little deceiving as the ramps in between the
false flats are actually really quite hard, and when you consider there’s a headwind today, it
made it a really tough climb. The only good thing though,
it’s at a really nice surface which actually made it quite
easy to find a nice rhythm and ride up the front. There’s now 50 kilometers
to go, but 33 of those do indeed go uphill. (upbeat music) Now, the previous descent
was absolutely amazing. It was technical, it was
fast, open at the top, and then tighter at the
bottom, and this one is far more engaging and
you cannot take your eye off the ball for a single second. The road is constantly changing
camber, changing direction, changing gradient, but more than that, the surface is constantly changing. We’ve had two bits which
have been immaculate, smooth tarmac, but on the whole,
we’ve actually got cracked and creased asphalt with lots
of gravel, lots of debris, and it makes it for quite the tricky ride. (upbeat music) Val Thorens is the final
climb in this year’s Tour de France, a record-breaking
30th mountain summit too, and it could prove decisive
to the overall outcome of the event. 33 kilometers at 5.5%,
although when you do discount the slight descents low down the mountain, the average gradient is
then in fact near a 7%. Oh, and if you like
trivia, Val Thorens happens to be the highest ski resort
in Europe at 2,365 meters, but before I can show you that, I still have to ride up the mountain. (upbeat music) After three weeks of racing,
200 riders have been competing for 21 stages. This is the last realistic
chance for a select few to take their victory,
a tall order indeed. Is it conceivable that
a break could stay away to the finish? I don’t think so, instead
will we see a final challenge for the overall title take place? I think it’s more likely. And here we are, the final
meters of the final climb in the 2019 Tour de France, just above the highest
ski resort in Europe. Val Thorens, at 2,635 meters,
will it prove to be decisive? We won’t find out until on the day, but one thing is for
sure, it is an epic finale to what will have been an epic bike race. (upbeat music) That final kilometer, at just
over 9%, was a real stink in the tail, and I’m not going
to lie, I didn’t appreciate it. Val Thorens has only once before featured in the Tour de France
and that was back in 1994 when Columbian Nelson
Rodriguez was the victor. Will we see a 100% Columbia
record on this climb? I think we might. Let us know your stage predictions down in the comments below and
if you enjoyed this video, do give it a big thumbs
up, and if you’d like to see more Tour de France content, click on your screen now.

100 Replies to “Judgement Day | Tour de France 2019 Stage 20 Preview”

  1. Il faut envisager de mettre les sous titres en français un jour, beaucoup de français vous suivent !

  2. Ineos will keep the pace high over the first two cols but a reasonably sized group will reach the bottom of the last climb. Pinot might attack early (say 5km to go) otherwise it won’t be until 4km to go. If ineos have yellow already then it will be the standard ineos train. Bernal or Pinot to win overall.

  3. 6:30 “On the hole, we’ve actually got cracked and creased asphalt”? More chamois butter should help with that….

  4. That F12 must be a brilliant bike because it looks absolutely minging. From the forks to the seat stays to the seat tube it just looks like it's been thrown together in some backstreet sweatshop in Shanghai.

  5. Hard to rule out Egan Bernal right now, but there are at least three or four other hot favourites – Pinot, Simon Yates, Quintana, (possibly), Bardet. And of course G.

  6. You should do these types of videos more often really enjoy these style videos and the videography is brilliantly

  7. I think if Banana Splits was being shown today, Bez in the Arabian Knights would say "Size… of Chris Opie's thighs!" and grow about four times as large. Chris makes riding up double digit gradients look as easy as I find them going in the opposite direction

  8. I'm impressed GCN, informative documentary, cinematography and editing nicely executed. Chris, what was your highest speed? Great form on the bike, exceptional balance.

  9. People are really underestimating this climb, sure it only averages 5.5% gradient over 33.4 km doesn't sound so hard, but 33.4 kilometers is an insanely long climb for grand tour standards and there are short down hill sections in the climb that bring down the overall average gradient of the climb. 80% of the whole Val thorens climb is above 7% gradient which would equate to roughly over 25 km of +7% climbing, that is insanely difficult.

    This climb is rated hardest in this year's tour for good reason and it'll will decide the tour guaranteed. Source: https://www.podiumcafe.com/2019/7/3/20676913/2019-tour-de-france-mountains-preview

  10. After watching this, I need to add it to the bucket list. Nice one Chris. Now lets see what happens on stage 20.

  11. @Global Cycling Network Being a smartass here, but you should make sure to say and write the country correctly, for not pissing off what I assume is a big fan base in ColOmbia 😉

  12. Did the Etape (stage 20) on Sunday – other than the grades and hight is the heat. Brutal absolutely brutal. People walking and lying on the sides everywhere. What the riders do during three weeks is heroic to say the least.

  13. It would be cool if south america wins back to back tours 👌
    Let's go team ineos, take bernal to the podium

  14. Bernal just might go one step better today; think he was just warming up yesterday. Hoping for Pino and the French to win the final jersey, but Ineos is my home team! Enjoy today!

  15. Buchmann will shine, exactly his stage, he will enter Top 3 and Bernal for the win of the tour. Julian will not even reach Top 5. The third will be Kruijswijk.
    Because of the modifcation of the todays track I think there will not be many changes in the top 5 expect Julian.

  16. Drove the route from Bourg-St-Maurice to Moutiers in March as the D1090 was stationary – absolutely stunning in the snow (if a bit sketchy – thank you Nokian winter tyres!) and I bet it's equally gorgeous in the summer. I was saying at the time that it would be a gorgeous place to ride a bike and then found out it was actually on the TdF this year!

  17. Bernal looked mighty good the past two days. Unless team factors hold him back, he will win the Tour tomorrow.

  18. 1) Nice music. 2) Good coverage of the upcoming stage. Can't see what happens in this final Alpine stage.

  19. Check the Tour De France site, they just shortened the course to 59kms for tomorrow! Madness!! Does this favour a Alaphilipe??

  20. Our people in Colombia learn to climb by necessity! or go up or do no go home, so hopefully Edgar, Nairo and all of our people, do go tomorrow!! thanks for your video, really nice…

  21. No rock slides on this stage PLEASE or Hail !!!!!!!! today wasn't fun at all with some riders not giving their best on last hill before the finish

  22. ASO have announced they are shortening tommorrow's stage 20 to just 59km, due to further storms forecast and worries about landslide risk – this is not a joke! – see announcements on TDF Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/letour – so now it's 23km on flat roads up the valley from Albertville, then straight onto the final Val Thorens climb – ie it's gonna be crazy!! So now who do you think is gonna win?!!

  23. Egan Bernal can prove that it's no fluke, Yates has a chance to prove himself as a climber, Quintana may be spent from his stage win.

  24. I would like to think that Nairo is the ultimate mountain contender, namely, that he has already won one very tough mountain stage this tour. He might podium (we hope!).

  25. I predict and fear that Val Thorens 2019 will always be remembered in the same thought as Merckx on Puy de Dome in 1975

  26. They've just cut it to 60ish km because of weather. The Val Thorens climb is basically the entire stage now.

  27. I can’t wait to see what happens with the short version announced today!
    This is a terrific preview video.

  28. How do you feel know that they cut it back to 59km? I'd be pissed they made me ride the whole thing. 😉

  29. Has anyone else noticed the stage was reduced to 59 km? Val thorens now only serious climb. Any thoughts on this?

  30. No prediction but bloody good informative video. More like this in the future about some of the top stages of any epic race would be awesome. Tv just doesn’t show how epic it is. Thanks GCN.

  31. Sprinter Opie doing hills, GC next? Doing the complete stage, must be technical winner for Stage 20 this year 😁

  32. What might have been…

    Still, at least the TdF organisers have an easy job for next year’s course – just do this one again. It’s been brilliant, and we won’t get to see the final few stages in their full glory this year, so next year will be pretty much unspoiled.

  33. That fantastic scenery and the thought of a chilled après-cycle bière would make that constantly ascending route well worth it.

  34. Good one. You are not even sweating or out of breath! I predict it will be Bernal and Quintana out front for the stage win.

  35. I'll keep my fingers keep pressed for Buchmann! Even, if it is clear that Bernal is most likely to win this stage. Bernal showed allready very good performance and if Thibaut Pinot would be still in the race, I would have been ran for him.

  36. Nice show but too bad it is not going to be valid since the stage has been changed due to threats of landslides and cut to only 59 Km

  37. Thanks for the effort. It would be great if you had your facts straight. At 7:10 you state that Val Thorens is the highest Ski Resort in Europe at 2365m. Later at 8:10 you state 2635m and put that on screen. Is Italy no longer in Europe? The Stelvio Glacier Ski Resort in Italy is at 2757m which is higher than both heights you presented for Val Thorens and it was established before Val Thorens Ski Resort. Good Day!

  38. GCN previews stage 16 of the Giro and stage 20 of the Tour and both are subsequently altered. The curse of GCN has strengthened and no rider or stage is immune!

  39. I loved this video. Love watching those beautiful landscapes. Makes me feel like I'm there riding. Very sad that the stage was cut short today!

  40. "Wow! Looky here! A Pinarello Dogma F12… oh wait, look mismatch bottles. So close. It's a nice bike. Nice bike Chris. "

  41. Loved watching this after having completed L'etape du Tour! It was every bit as brutal as Chris described it; especially in the heat on the day… Great video GCN!

  42. Am I just dreaming or did I truly saw some "fast and hair raising descent stuff" on a single road cycing channel?! :O Pretty much every channel has tried to make me belive that road cycling is only about climbs and suffering so I wanted to sell my 3000$ road bike and buy a rusty, lead-framed, fix-geared postal delivery bike for 50$ with flat tires to show my mates who the real road cyclist is! But now I think I am not going to do that and will try to enjoy going downhill and going fast too! 😀

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