An Ultra-Short Mountain Stage Ups the Intensity
The Tour’s final week includes three difficult mountain stages in the Pyrénées. Stage 17 is unique for its length, which is unusually short at just 65 kilometers. By comparison, the previous day's mountain stage covers 218 kilometers. Though it’s one of the shortest stages in modern Tour history, the Tour organizers manage to jam three climbs into a very small space and more than half the kilometers for this stage run uphill. The final climb of the day, the Col de Portet makes its Tour début this year and summits at over 2000 meters. You can expect to see a fast and furious race during this stage and perhaps some unusual tactical decisions as teams try to crack the code on how to win with so little road to work with.