At 65km long, stage 17 of the Tour de France was already going to be a must-watch. However, ASO has added another element to the stage which will make it even more interesting.
Tour de France organiser will be gridding riders at the start of the race’s penultimate mountain stage in Bagnères-de-Luchon according to their rankings at the start and eliminate the neutral zone.
The top 20 riders in GC will set off first, then the next 20, and so on through the field.
“At kilometre zero, riders shall be positioned in the same order as the general classification after the previous stage,”.
“They shall be distributed into five different groups. The first 20 riders in the general classification shall be included in the first group in offset rows with the wearer of the yellow jersey in first place. Riders shall then position themselves freely in the other groups corresponding to their places in the general classification.”
“We will only use it that day,” Thierry Gouvenou, technical director of ASO told Marca. “We believe that at such a short stage the tension can be cut with a knife and that this start formula will accentuate this situation.”
Stage 17 of the 2018 Tour de France takes place on Wednesday 25th July, covering 65 km from Bagnères-de-Luchon to Saint-Lary-Soulan.