PREVIEW | Tour de France 2023 stage 13 - Pogacar and Vingegaard battle for yellow jersey at Grand Colombier

Preview. The Massif Central was brutal for the riders, and there is no transition into the mountains, stage 13 of the Tour de France sees the peloton head into the Jura mountains where Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar will have an important battle for the yellow jersey.

Stage 13 of the Tour de France will see the return of a colossal mountain. The queen of the Jura mountains, the Grand Colombier will host the finale of what is a very short day with a pan-flat start and little climbing beforehad. A short day on the bike, the whole first 75 kilometers are very simple and will pass quite fast.

Estimated start and finish times for Tour de France stage 13: 13:45-17:10CET

PREVIEW | Tour de France 2023 stage 13 - Pogacar and Vingegaard battle for yellow jersey at Grand Colombier
Stage 13: Châtillon-sue-Chalaronne - Grand Colombier, 138.3 kilometers

The riders then go over the Col de la Lèbe, it is 17 kilometers long but the second half essentially a false flat, the whole ascent averaging around 3%. The riders do face a steeper descent which leads the riders into the final 29 kilometers. The riders pass through Culoz and then start the ascent, passing by the Lacets du Grand Colombier, one of the most scenic spots in the Alps.

Click here to create your own team for the Fantasy Tour de France Stage 13. At least $1,350/€1,250/£1,075 in prizes!!

It will all come down to the climb, which features 17.4 kilometers at 7.1%, featuring many switchbacks, some gradient inconsistencies and a steep finale to kick off the second block of mountain stages. The ascent is hard from the start, it features a few restbite sections but with 7% average gradient, it's quite telling that the tough uphill sections frequently go above 10%.

PREVIEW | Tour de France 2023 stage 13 - Pogacar and Vingegaard battle for yellow jersey at Grand Colombier
Grand Colombier: 17.4Km; 7.1%
PREVIEW | Tour de France 2023 stage 13 - Pogacar and Vingegaard battle for yellow jersey at Grand Colombier

The Weather

PREVIEW | Tour de France 2023 stage 13 - Pogacar and Vingegaard battle for yellow jersey at Grand Colombier
Map Tour de France 2023 stage 13

Very hard heat to deal with, 30 degrees at the Grand Colombier and meaningful wind from the south. This will see a majority of tailwind throughout the final ascent which will come in handy for those looking to attack. It will make it an interesting mix.

The Favourites

Tadej Pogacar - The heat... Pogacar has looked very good in the last two mountain stages, and despite the heat he has performed to example in these two hilly days in the Massif. He showed no signs of struggle, but with the high temperatures on the Grand Colombier he will remember last year's crack at the Col du Granon. This may play into his tactics, perhaps he will not be willing to risk too much, in any case if he does hope to get the yellow jersey the 17 seconds necessary aren't too hard to get in the final couple kilometers.

Jonas Vingegaard - Jumbo-Visma will race with different tactics after Puy de Dôme. Firstly don't expect the team to try and control the breakaway surely, they will not want bonifications present for Pogacar to take in a possible sprint as he did with Roglic back in 2020. Jumbo have the race lead, and the last two mountain stages have indicated that pushing the pace won't earn them time. They will most likely race more defensively now, and likely use Sepp Kuss later on, mostly to psychologically prevent Pogacar from attacking - if that can ever be the case. However Vingegaard knows that he's got to answer directly to the Slovenian in all cases.

Top 10 fight - I wouldn't expect any surprises from the rest of the Top 10. This is not a day where you'll see them trying to surprise and enter the breakaway, and it's not a climb different than what has already been faced. After another two brutal days and hard heat some riders may face trouble but that can't be predicted. Jai Hindley will race on the defensive, INEOS with Tom Pidcock and Carlos Rodríguez in 7th and 4th respectively may want to make a move, as Pello Bilbao sneaked into the Top10 after stage 10. Overall they will be doing their own race, apart from the front duo.

Now let's consider breakaway chances. With no doubt, with such a short stage with a flat start, if Jumbo-Visma and UAE decided to ally in a chase and then battle among themselves for the stage win, they could. It's an easy start to control and the gap could be as short as 2 minutes if they so wished. But that's unlikely to happen, neither team wants to give the other any advantage, and at this point fatigue control is more important then what was the case in the first week. However, the flat start will also make it hard for a strong array of climbers to set off for victory, in such a brutal final climb that will be necessary.

First attack can succeed, as the peloton may then block the road. A fast start and support from a rouleur could be crucial to make it to the first group. Let's take a look at the climbers however. Daniel Martínez, Valentin Madouas, Mikel Landa, Jack Haig, Giulio Ciccone, Mattias Skjelmose, Ben O'Connor, Felix Gall, Guillaume Martin, Ruben Guerreiro, Michael Woods and Tobias Johannessen will be the riders to watch.

As is the case everyday in this race however, the race may have it's decisive phase before reaching the climb itself. The amount of energy spent on getting to a breakaway is crucial, and nailing your timing can mean having the best legs in the end, even if you are not the superior climber. So the fight for the breakaway will be crucial, whilst the other will be how well the riders will handle the heat, and their fatigue at this point in the race. In these two hilly days several have burnt their legs quite a lot and certainly will not be at their best on the Grand Colombier.

Prediction Tour de France 2023 stage 13:

*** Jonas Vingegaard, Tadej Pogacar
** Giulio Ciccone, Felix Gall, Michael Woods, Ben O'Connor
* Carlos Rodríguez, Simon Yates, Tom Pidcock, Jai Hindley, Valentin Madouas, Daniel Martínez, Mattias Skjelmose, Tobias Johannessen

Pick: Tadej Pogacar

Place comments



More comments

You are currently seeing only the comments you are notified about, if you want to see all comments from this post, click the button below.

Show all comments