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Stage 19: More Glandon Goodness

Stage 19: Saint Jean de Maurienne - La Toussuire 138 km

Everyone is waiting for La Alpe but this is most likely the biggest Alps stage. Once again we hope for the big assault on funny-looking Froomey.

About La Toussuire

It's the Alps, half the places that host stage finishes are ski stations, as is La Toussuire/Les Sybelles. It's ideally placed right smack dab in the middle of big climbs and they've hosted the Tour twice already in the last ten years (and the Dauphiné a few times as well). Probably a bit of marketing budget to put the place on the map, much like Le Alpe d'Huez did once back in the day. Last time we were here the stage was even harder with the full Col de la Madeleine instead of Chaussy and it was the day most known for Froome's little insurrection when he actually attacked his captain Wiggins a bit before getting reined in by the DS in the car.

AmyBC's food and drink pairings:

Wine: Lupin Frangy Rousette de Savoie

From the importer:
Bruno Lupin is a winemaker with extensive experience. Before moving back to his hometown to establish his own estate, he ran the cellar at La Cave de Genève in Switzerland for many years.

The Lupin estate consists of five hectares of vines in Frangy on a hillside called Les Aricoques. Bruno considers this location the best in the region due to the full southern exposure and the relatively low altitude that protects the vineyards from the cold northern winds. The soils are molasses, a crumbly calcareous soil resulting from old mountain erosion. Most of the vines are about 25 years old but there is a single parcel of individually staked vines that are over 60 years old. This site is the source of his old vines wine: "Cuvée du Pépé".

The wines are fermented with indigenous yeasts and are never de-acidified (although it is a common practice in the area). Bruno works his vineyards organically most of the time, only resorting to chemicals when absolutely necessary to preserve the health of his plants.

I say: Lemonade yellow again and just as bright and fresh as a homemade glass. Peaches, pears and lots of minerals. I have to agree with the "mouth-filling quality and long finish" note above. I like this one a lot.

Food: Tomme de Savoie

tomme de savoie

Tomme means smallish, roundish cheese, and is usually combined with the region or town of origin. In this case, you're munching a raw, cows milk wheel from France's mountainous eastern region of Savoie in the Rhone Alpes. It has been lightly pressed for a semi-soft texture and aged from 2-4 months. It's a mountain staple made from the skimmed milk left over from butter making and it radiates a rustic, earthy, simplicity.

Stage Details


st 19 profile


st 19 map

Course Analysis

Holy climbfest Batman! This day will not be welcome for tired legs. It has all the makings of an intense slugfest with three big climbs (two Cat 1 + one HC) in a mere 138 kms. Starting uphill will be crushing for a those fearing time limits or just feeling off for whatever reason. Then there's actually a pretty long flat section in the Maurienne valley to the foot of the Glandon/Croix de Fer. After that , happy-funtime is over. 22 relentless kilometers of climbing takes them to the Croix de Fer for the second time in as many days and this time the race heads via a smaller climb to the Col de Mollard where a long technical descent takes them back to the valley. Supposedly this descent has a hairpin for every time Chris Froome has looked at his stem in this race so that should be interesting. And then we have a tough enough climb up to La Toussuire


The final climb is hard enough but it isn't the kind of race-altering climb that some might be looking for to de-throne Froome. In reality, if this stage is to become extraordinary we probably need to see the Glandon/Croix de Fer raced aggressively. That is an evil climb and we can only hope that riders don't discount it as being to far out from the finish. The only real let-up is as it passes through the village of Saint Colomban about halfway but otherwise it is a relentless slog.


The top of the Glandon is truly awful/beautiful and my feelings at looking at the hairpins coming up in the final 3 kms are easily summed up in this picture

jens glandon

Let's just say, if Froome looks something like this it should be a clear signal to Quintana to make his move right here And use the meandering descent of the Mollard to build his advantage before the final climb. Well, we can dream anyway.

Shhhhhhh!  It's Will here.  Jens doesn't know I am editing his preview:  Here is a video of him conquering Glandon:


General Classification

Maillot Jaune Tour

You betcha. This is a brute of a day. Movistar have to try something sooner or later, no? More likely we see more jockeying for places within the top 10 though.

Points Competition

Maillot Vert

Sagan will be in the early break and get the intermediate points of course, that's a given. That will be the Green action for the day.

King of the Mountains

Maillot a Pois

We now know J-Rod is going for this for real so he's likely in the break to hover up points on the first three KOMs. He still needs Froome to be a bit down at the finish though. Bardet is suddenly a candidate too if he wants to give it a go. It's a good stage for him if he can recover.

Young Rider

Maillot Blanc

If the Allos descent didn't make Quintana age a few years, nothing will. This baby is sewn up.

Stage Favorites

I can't even contemplate this not being a day for the podium contenders in the end. The climbing is too heavy and the stakes are to high in the top 10 for the pressure not to be on. That should make life for stage- and KOM-hunters hard. Expect the winner of the day to be either Chris Froome or Nairo Quintana.