Tour de France 2009: Stage 16 preview
Tour de France 2009, stage 16 preview logo
When Tuesday July 21
Where Martigny – Bourg-Saint-Maurice
How far 159km
IMPACT ON CLASSIFICATIONS
Yellow Jersey 4/5
Green Jersey 1/5
Polka-Dot Jersey 4/5
There’s not a kilometre of flat in this stage, with two high-mountain monsters awaiting the bunch. The climbing begins from the stage start at Martigny and doesn’t relent for 40 kilometres to the top of the Hors-category Col du Grand-Saint-Bernard. After a long dash into the valley, it’s another long slog up the Col du Petit-Saint Bernard. The winner will be a strong climber – possibly a King of the Mountains contender - who can get away early in a big group, drop his companions and keep the gains on the 32-kilometre descent into Bourg-Saint Maurice. Though this could be a day for Tour favourites to gain a few seconds, the long downhill plays into the hands of any rider dropped on the climb.
- The Hors-categorised Grand-Saint-Bernard and first-category Petit-Saint-Bernard haven’t been used in the Tour since the 60s. Federico Bahamontes led over both in 1963; Martin Vandenbossche was first over the Grand-Saint-Bernard in its last inclusion in 1966.
- Bourg-St-Maurice has only been a Tour finishing town once: Tour winner Sylvere Maes was the winner on that occasion in 1939.
- 2,474 metres high and 24.2 kilometres long, the Col du Grand-Saint-Bernard is not only the highest point of the 2009 Tour de France, but also the race’s longest climb.
- Number of Hors-categorised climbs in this year’s race: four, half as many as in 2008.