Tour de France 2022 – Stage 11

Now, the first real mountain stage. I have this stage written down as one of the hardest mountain stages, together with stage 12 and stage 18. With Col du Télégraphe, Col du Galibier and Col du Granon there are 4000 climbing meters – almost all of them in the last 80 km.

The route

The first 46.5 km are flat. It makes it very hard for a good enough climber to get in the morning breakaway. They can hope it takes a long time once again, as the first categorized climb, Lacets de Montvernier, starts 46.5 into the stage. A hard enough climb for strong climbers to attack. And look at the hairpins, it is almost a mini-Alpe d’Huez.

Following are 22.5 km of flat again. Here, the riders hit the bottom of Col du Télégraphe and right after Col du Galibier. This is a long segment. In Le Tour Savoie Mont Blanch 2021 this was used as the finale. It took them 1h30m. It is a brutal duo with just 5 km of flat in the middle. Mind you, we talk 2600 meters above sea level.

Col du Telegraphe: 10.9 km at 7.1%.
Col du Galibier: 17.5 km at 6.8%. Last 8 km at 8.2%. A perfect spot for a long-range attack.

Afterward, a long descent. The first half (11 km) is difficult while the rest as you can see are easy. If we have seen attacks from the GC group, having a satellite rider at this exact point is key. After the descent, there is 13 km of flat before the last climb.

It is not an easy climb the last one and it is not used often in pro racing. After two very difficult climbs and a short valley to breathe, this will hit like a wall for some.


A tailwind for most of the day, but a headwind for most of Col du Cranon until the last 2.5 km. You may say it won’t matter above 6%, but here is to show you otherwise. The wind will likely make it hard to attack before they turn right. I hear reports of a heatwave but they will not hit it tomorrow. At the start, it will be very high temperatures but as they climb, the temperature drop.

How will the stage unfold?

The flat start is not ideal for the breakaway. Today, the breakaway formed on the second climb. I could imagine fewer rouleurs wanting to get up the road tomorrow by themselves so they will be used for slingshotting (Pedersen, Politt, Mohoric). It is a big day for the KOM jersey, so I expect to see some big names up the road. They will really have to hope the breakaway forms on the first categorized climb. If it does, the breakaway stands a chance. If it forms on the flat, there will not be a good enough climber in it to stay away.

As for the GC – it is time to look at INEOS and Jumbo-Visma. INEOS has been playing their cards well. Just sitting back and letting UAE control. It would not look like them to put a satellite rider in the morning breakaway but since they are on the attack, I think Castroviejo could do a wonderful job of Yates or G attack on Galibier and need a rider to push in the valley. I just doubt they will. Neither Yates or Thomas strike me

JV to put WvA in the breakaway to do the same? I think they will try and attack with Roglic on Galibier and I’m not sure how Pogacar will respond. Their job must be to isolate Pogacar as early as possible and make him decide if he will let Roglic come back in the race. If he doesn’t, they can play Roglic to tire Pogacar. If he let him, Pogacar will have a long race ahead of him.

What about Pogacar? Will we simply see him destroy the competition? If he is out of helpers, he will attack and as it looks right now, he may be out of helpers very early. He will not let the jersey go – that is clear but UAE does not have the team to control the morning move. That means setting up a stage win will be difficult – unless JV or INEOS have grand plans.

I think they do.


Pogacar – he may come under pressure tomorrow. It is not something you write next to his name very often. It will all depend on Jumbo-Visma and INEOS. If they ride passively, he will be fine. If they attack, he will be isolated. Something he has been for two years. It will be difficult to get through his armor, he will be hard to beat.

Jumbo – Visma – it all depends on the tactic. Roglic could gain time with an attack but they will put a lot of resources into it. They should. Roglic can potentially win time and win the stage, but I am not sure if Vingegaard can beat Pogacar tomorrow. It has been some time since he has been beaten.

INEOS – I think they will play it conservatively but they could benefit from the Vingegaard – Pogacar rivalry. Something just tells me, that neither Yates or G are good enough to win in this field.

Mas – looking better than he normally is at this point in a Grand Tour. I think he can do well and will stay well in contention in the GC.

Quintana – lost time on the steep Planche des Belles Filles. I think the gravel was not his cup of tea at all, I would expect a day like tomorrow suit him far better.

Bardet – still in contention. He had a very high level at the Giro d’Italia. If he has the same tomorrow, he should do good.

Gaudu – a big test tomorrow. It could well be the day he decides to go for stages in the future or keep the dream alive. The steep gradients are certainly good for him.

Vlasov – hurt his back a bit, but he could have recovered a bit on the rest day. Given the way he has been climbing this season, it would not surprise me to see him do very well. Given his crash, I think he should look to not drop too much time.

Israel – PT – Woods and Fuglsang. Two riders who could do well from the break. The flat start is fine for the Dane, but bad for the Canadian.

Pinot – climbing well just now, another breakaway contender. The flat start is not ideal for him.

Who will win?

I doubt there is any way through Pogacar’s armor. It is too early. A win for the Slovenian.

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