Tour de France 2023 – Stage 13

It is time to visit the mythical Grand Colombier.

The Route

The first half is flat, the second half is mountainous.

All about Grand Colombier

It comes in sections. It is not a very regular climb.
The bottom is the hardest, 5.4 km at 9.1%.
A plateau of 2.2 km at 3.1%.
The middle of 3.2 km at 9.7%.
A plateau of 2.5 km at 3.5%.
The last section is 3.5 km at 6.5%.

That means the peloton gets thinned out in the first sections, the contenders are found on the middle section and the winner on the finish to the top.


Sunny and warm on the flatter sections, colder on the peaks. A headwind start but a tailwind on Grand Colombier (wind from the S).

How will the stage unfold?

The last three passages have been in 2016, 2017 and 2020. The only one that finished at the top was in 2020. A tougher stage than we will see tomorrow as Montée de la Selle de Fromental (11.5 km at 8.1%) and Col de la Biche (6.9 km at 8.7%) was before it. Tomorrow, I barely want to call it a climb before Grand Colombier.

That means two things. A breakaway can get a huge gap, as the GC teams/contenders would simply just waste energy – or the would like to set up a stage win. I’m thinking about you, UAE. In 2019, it was the GC that took the stage win as the breakaway was caught near the foot.

It is a 44-45 minute effort for the best. Perhaps less as the stage is so easy and they mainly have a tailwind. In my book, the breakaway would need somewhere around four minutes to be sure they make it, because Pogacar will attack tomorrow. And that is if some very good climbers make it.

We had 12 riders within 34 seconds of the winner in 2020 (Pogacar). The climb is not very difficult to be fair, as the flatter sections allow people to catch their breath. Still, it is quite similar to Col du Tourmalet, the gradients are just not very regular and it is easier at the top.

It all depends if there is a few good climbers up in the morning move. It is up to UAE to set it up, they have Trentin, Bjerg and Laengen to be used to control. If they want, they can set up a GC day.


Vingegaard – They should just let the breakaway sail away. Then, we will see if they want to pace for Jonas or let UAE do the dirty work. I think sitting a bit further back is not a bad option, especially in the middle section – where they have a headwind. I know, the gradients are 9% but surely it must give a few watts saved. Then, all about following Pogacar – give the other a minute if he you need too.

Pogacar – will they set it up for Pogacar? They have not been very good at controlling starts. The flatter starts perhaps makes it easier. They have three riders to hold the breakaway within five minutes, they will naturally gain something before the foot as the battle for position becomes crazy. He starts as the favorite tomorrow, if the team decides to ride for a stage win.

Hindley – all about the podium. Forget trying to follow Pogacar and Vingegaard. He really just has to make sure to keep an eye on Rodriguez and S. Yates. As it is a one-climb stage, I don’t think we will see him at his best.

S. Yates – we will likely see Yates be happy it is a one-climb stage. This is where he excels. He has been climbing well, and there is not far to 4th place.

Rodriguez – the same can be said for Rodriguez. A lot of people are talking about Pidcock, Carlos is a far better climber. I think he will have a tough time defending 4th, Pidcock needs to sacrifice himself for Carlos if they need too.

Gall – breakaway hope #1. It still looks like he has the legs from Switzerland.

Bardet – breakaway hope #2. Too close in the GC? He seems to be better after throwing up on stage 10.

Haig – breakaway hope #3. I think he will be their man to defend the team classification. He is looking very good.

Meintjes – breakaway hope #4. It almost went wrong today. Time to sneak back time on his rivals.

Uran – breakaway hope #5. Is he even part of the race? Tomorrow, he strikes back.


⭐⭐⭐⭐ Pogacar
⭐⭐⭐ Gall, Vingegaard
⭐⭐ Rodriguez, S. Yates, Haig
Uran, Bardet, Meintjes , Hindley

Who will win?

I think Pogacar smells blood and wants bonus seconds. He won’t drop Jonas but the bonus seconds is what he is after. I win for the Slovenian.

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