Two massive climbs await the peloton on Stage 16: the HC climb over Col du Grand-Saint-Bernard and the Category 1 Petit-Saint-Bernard. Both of these Alpine challenges are more long than they are steep. The real drama of the day will happen on the way down the Col du Petit-Saint-Bernard. After the final climb, the route practically dives off a cliff, dropping 4,000 feet in the final 18 miles. Near the bottom of the descent, riders will navigate no less than 19 harrowing switchbacks at full speed. Don’t be surprised to see Astana’s Yaroslav Popovych try to make it in an early move on this stage: if he gets to the top of the final climb at the front of the race, it’s a good chance that the daredevil rider will finish there at the bottom. Amongst the favorites, some tactics may be at play over the top of the final climb: Saxo Bank, in particular has an interesting card to play with its super-start Schleck brothers. If one of them takes a flier on the way down the climb, rival GC contenders will have to decide how much they want to risk trying to catch him.
Note: Stage route, exact start/finish, and sprints/climbs have been approximated from information provided by LeTour.com. Actual stage may vary slightly.
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Fly over the Tour de France's steep climbs, windy roads, and sprint finishes in this interactive Google Earth map.