Hardly pausing for breath after the Giro, almost like its unofficial eleventh stage, this year's La Course sees numerous riders head off into the French Alps having already had a handy legstretcher on Monte Zoncolan.
Will the same riders (same rider, really, clear Giro winner and La Course defending champ Annemiek van Vleuten) prevail, or will it take fresher legs to triumph here? Anna van der Breggen, who missed the Giro for a foray into MTB, is likely to be back, as is home rider Pauline Ferrand-Prévot. UHC, whose Katie Hall won the queen stage and overall at the Tour of California, are also racing. You decide.
The race covers 112.5 km from Annecy to Le Grand-Bornand (essentially the same as the men's Tour stage 10 but missing out a big chunk between Thones and Bonneville and with a shorter, predictably less climby section added in). Though the finish itself is downhill, the parcours includes ascents of the Col de Romme (8.8 km at an average of 8.9%) and the Col de la Colombière (7.5 km at 8.5%), described by Will in his mountains preview as the 'hipster option'.
Weather for Annecy seems fine though with the possibility of showers.
Race gets underway at 9 am CEST, so there's your deadline. No hanging around off the back.
Live coverage seems to start from an hour and a quarter or so in, depending on your provider. On the fastest timing, riders are expected to begin climbing the Col de Romme from around just after 11:15 am CEST.
Splendid predictor game spreadsheet.
Please give this a rec so it rises up & people see it. Especially since time is short.
Bonne chance! (Surely there's something else you say in French, but if there is, I don't know it.)