Tour de France 2014 will see Stage 17 being held on Wednesday. In the previous stage Michael Rodgers of the Tinkoff-Saxo team recorded a victory. Astana's Vincenzo Nibali still has the yellow jersey.
Stage 17 is said to be the hardest of Tour de France 2014 so far. Expert manoeuvring and some very aggressive cycling will be the need of the hour here. Four gruelling mountain climbs in only 124.5 kilometres lie in store for the contestants.
The race will be contested from Saint Gaudens to Saint Lary Pla d' Adet. The initial stretches of the race are flat, however, from there on it's one tricky mountain climb after another. Making the most of this flat stretch is something the contestants will look to do.
Come the 31st kilometre an intermediate sprint shall be on view. Some kilometres onwards they head toward Spain. From here on it's a westward journey as the first mountain, the Col du Portillon, appears before them.
As they ascend to the top they head back toward France. From here on a downward trail follows as they make for Bagnères-de-Luchon. The contestants now have to contend with the Col de Peyresourde. A few flat parts are on view in the first stretch, thereafter it's as tough as it can be.
Next up is Loudenville for the riders. The riders will encounter some flat territory as they head toward the Col de Val Louzon . Here the initial three kilometres on the trot will take some cycling as they are steep. Thereafter, in what might be of some relief for the riders, the next few stretches are looked upon as slightly easier.
The riders go further down as they make for Saint Louran Soulan. There willl be some flat territory during this stretch, before a rather testing Hors Category (HC) climb. From here on they head toward Plat d Adet as they look to conclude the race. The beginning seven kilometres of this climb are particularly hard, therafter as the final three kilometres approach it becomes easier. The last kilometre consists of a solitary turn while the final 110 metres are straight.
Michael Rodgers will be looking to repeat his Stage 16 success. Previous stages winners Rafal Majka and Alexander Kristoff will also want to taste success again. Overall lead-holder Vincenzo Nibali will be confident of strengthening his grip of the yellow jersey.
Where to Watch Live:
Ten Sports Day 17
7-45 PM To 9-15 PM (IST) Wednesday