July 17, 2005
Stage 15 profile
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It's a day with 6 climbs, and only one of them is as small as a 2nd Category: The Col du Porte d'Aspet, where Fabio Casartelli died in 1995. That one is 85 kilometers into the 205.5 kilometer stage, and it's the day's first climb. After that, it's one after another 1300- to 1500-meter climb: The Col de Mente; the Col du Portillon; the Col de Peyresourde; and the Col de Val Louron-Azet. All are 1st Category climbs, and they'll take the riders from around 90 kilometers to around 190 kilometers on the day.
And then there's the finishing climb, the hors categorie climb of the Pla d'Adet up to Saint-Lary-Soulan (and what did Saint Larry do?), which tops out at 1,669 meters. It's the last uphill finish of the Tour.
Based on yesterday, we can look for T-Mobile to attack, and for Discovery to try to redeem themselves a bit. There may be, like yesterday, an early breakaway: I wouldn't be surprised to see a Discovery rider or two in that break, to help ensure that Armstrong has a teammate up the road.
This is the kind of stage Lance Armstrong has won throughout his yellow jersey reign; he'll certainly be looking to get his first stage win of 2005.
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