We're spoiled for choice of great mountain stages in the 2011 Tour de France.
But - just for fun - which stage do you believe is likely to be the toughest, most interesting, most decisive - or however you want to define Queen Stage.
Below the fold, I have given a very brief sentence or two on why I think each of the four mountain top finish stages may or may not deserve to be labeled the Queen Stage.
But more interestingly what do you think - and why?
Polka Dot fans see the Peloton approaching
The Candidate stages:
(See the TdF Mountains Preview for details on each climb)
Why it's the Queen stage: Three huge climbs, one after the other. Not easy.
Why it's not the Queen stage: Yes, this is tough (but there will be tougher). And stage 12 is just too early in the race.
Why it's the Queen stage: This stage has six (!) tough climbs. Riders will be exhausted when they reach Plateau de Beille. And the winner at Plateau de Beille always wins the Tour de France: Pantani in 1998, Armstrong in 2002 & 2004, and Contador in 2007
Why it's not the Queen stage: Sure this is an impressive stage. But there is only one HC climb. And there is much less oxygen on later, higher Alps stages.
Why it's the Queen stage: This stage has three gigantic HC climbs - all at oxygen thin altitudes (gasp). And Galibier will be the highest finish in Tour history.
Why it's not the Queen stage: This is the easier side of Galibier. The other stages all have tougher final climbs.
Why it's the Queen stage: Alpe d'Huez will be the last categorized climb of the entire race. It's will be now or never. If you define Télégraphe/Galibier as one climb, then it's the toughest in the race.
Why it's not the Queen stage: It's a short stage, and easier than the other three Queen candidates. The race may effectively be over by now.
A Final Word
I'll keep quiet about my choice until a few votes are in. Feel free to add better reasons than mine in the comments to support your choice.
All stage profiles from the official Tour de France web site