Tour De France Review – Stage 20: Modane Valfréjus to Alpe d’Huez

There was only 110km to cover today. There were only two Cols to get over today, Col de la Croix de Fer and Alpe D’Huez, both category H. At the end of today there would only be one winner of the 2015 edition of Le Tour, and a very deserving winner he would be.

Today’s stage belonged to Thibault Pinot, the French rider on FDJ. Having a team mate up the road in Alexandre Geniez, Pinot along with five others attacked with about 50km to go. When Geniez reached the foot of Alpe D’Huez, Pinot was two minutes back but with 9km to go the Frenchman caught up with his teammate and the pair forged ahead. Eventually Geniez’s legs called it a day and Pinot soloed to a magnificant stage win.

Thibaut Pinot Stage 20

Behind the Frenchman it all kicked off in the Yellow Jersey group. Sky was yet again battered on the slopes of Col de la Croix de Fer. Only Froome was able to cope with the relenteless attacks from Movistar however as they reached the valley road his teammates caught up again. The stage was set for the GC showdown between Quintana and Froome on Alpe D’Huez.

As the climb started to bite Froome was attacked by both Valverde and Quintana and eventually the little Columbian broke free, Froome and his fellow Team Sky teammates unable to follow the searing pace. For Froome it was survival and the pride of the Yellow Jersey that kept him going.

For Quintana it was the lure of the Yellow Jersey. Both riders giving everything they can to do the jersey proud.

In the end it was Quintana crossing the line in second place, a mere 25s behind Pinot. Crucially for Froome, he only lost 1m20 to Quintana and thereby secured his second Tour De France win, bar any misfortune on the way to Paris.

Stage Highlights:

  • A special day for cycling, and the final showdown of the 2015 Tour de France on the most famous climb in world cycling.
  • Thibault Pinot (FDJ) had a great ride today and confirmed he’s a true champion of the Mythical Mountain when he resisted the challenge of Quintana (MOV) – who launched his attack to close the time gap on Froome – up the final climb. Click here to see the recorded speeds of Quintana (MOV) vs Pinot (FDJ) in the final 5 km to the finish of Alpe d’Huez.
  • The performance and support from the FDJ team was fantastic today; they had a great ride and certainly played their part in Pinot’s (FDJ) stage win.
  • Chris Froome (SKY) was just too good. He had to fight, but remained calm – holding on to the yellow jersey with a 1’12” lead over arch-rival Quintana (MOV) in the overall classification. Tradition dictates that Froome (SKY) will win Le Tour – a deserving champion. But there’s one more stage, and the pressure remains.

Day in data:

  • 160 riders started Stage 20, from Modane Valfréjus (2nd time stage town) to Alpe d’Huez (29th time stage town). For the first time ever, the iconic hors catégorie climb of Alpe d’Huez, is on the eve of the final stage on the Champs-Elysées.
  • 140 – number of vehicles that form part of the “Zone Technique” with a total of 50 people who are responsible for the “behind-the-scenes” technical production & broadcast of Le Tour.
  • 109.5 km – distance to the finish line on the Champs-Élysées, Paris.
  • 21 – number of hairpin bends on the (13.8 km at 8.1%) ascent of Alpe d’Huez.
  • 2067 m – altitude of the Col de la Croix de Fer.
  • 23.24 km/h – average speed of the first rider to summit the Col de la Croix de Fer, Geniez (FDJ).
  • 93.51 km/h – top recorded speed of Geniez’s (FDJ) descent from Col de la Croix de Fer – click here.
  • 15.84 km/h – average recorded speed up Alpe d’Huez.
  • 31.20 km/h – the average speed on the stage.
  • 23’ 57” – the time gap between the first and last rider.
  • 14 – number of days Chris Froome (SKY) has been in the yellow jersey.
  • 8 – number of riders who were in contention for the Polka Dot Jersey at the start of the stage: Froome (SKY), Bardet (ALM), Rodriguez (KAT), Quintana (MOV), Fuglsang (AST), Pauwels (MTN), Rolland (EUC) & Nibali (AST). By the end of the stage, Froome (SKY) wins on 119 points.
  • 01′ 12” – Froome’s (SKY) yellow jersey lead over Quintana (MOV).

Stage Winner:

FRA | Thibaut Pinot | FDJ
Stage time: 03h 17′ 21″
Average speed: 33.6 km/h
Speed across finish line: 23.15 km/h
Average speed up Alpe d’Huez: 19.74 km/h
Average speed on the descent of Col de la Croix de Fer: 59.1 km/h

Overall Jersey Leaders:

yellowJersey_sGBR | Chris Froome – SKY | 81h 56′ 33”

GreenJerseyNew_SSVK | Peter Sagan – TCS | 420 points

whiteJersey_sCOL | Nairo Alexander Quintana – MOV | 81h 57′ 45”

PolkaDotJersey_sGBR | Chris Froome – SKY | 119 points

Tomorrow is the last stage of this year’s Tour. The riders will set off from Sèvres – Grand Paris Seine Ouest to Paris where the race will finish on the Champs-Élysées. It’s a stage for the sprinters again and they will be fired on by the honour of winning on of the most iconic stages in Le Tour.

For Froome it is just a matter of making it to Paris and he will have his second Yellow Jersey in three years as well as the polka dot, the King of The Mountain jersey.

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