Vegard Stake Laengen's Stage-by-Stage Guide to the Tour De France 2018: Week Two
Dubai, UAE, July 16, 2018: Heading into the second week of the Tour de France, Norwegian National Road Race Champion Vegard Stake Laengen analyses UAE Team Emirates’ chances of more success.
After a dramatic week one on the tour – which saw UAE Team Emirates’ Dan Martin make history and take home the team’s first ever Tour de France stage win – we sat with Vegard Stake Laengen to discuss the week ahead, his experiences of these stages and the challenges his teammates will be face as they prepare for the first real mountain tests of this year’s tour.
Stage Ten (Annecy - Le Grand-Bornand)
“The first mountain stage of the tour – there is a lot of climbing, but I think someone like Dan Martin could relish that. The last climb, Colombiere, I have done before and it is a really hard one. The final downhill stretch is very technical with lots of twists and turns. The whole day is so hard and I expect there to be no big groups when they start the last climb.”
Stage Eleven (Albertville - La Rosière)
“This is quite a short race, but we could see attacks on the opening climb. Normally when the stage is so short like this, it’s difficult for the breakaway to keep the distance because everyone is going out full gas. It will be an important battleground for the GC guys, but I know that there will be sprinters who will look at this stage and hate it. For them it will be about surviving!”
Stage Twelve (Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arc - Alpe d'Huez)
“The Alpe d’Huez is one of the most famous climbs in the Tour de France – but a super hard climb! The stage in general is hard to reserve any energy, with just 20km before the first climb starts. When I look at a stage like this, it could be a good one for the breakaway.”
Stage Thirteen (Bourg d'Oisans – Valence)
“We have had a few days in the mountains by this point, so this one is certainly for the sprinters. The teams will group and work together to try and ensure a sprint finish and get the victory. The breakaway might have some opportunities to go, but I can’t look past the sprinters, especially Alexander Kristoff who I think will be so keen to fight for the stage win.”
Stage Fourteen (Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux – Mende)
“This route could be a perfect opportunity for the breakaway. If Darwin Atapuma goes with the main group, and can stay with them, we could see a repeat performance of his impressive attempt at victory in last year’s Stage 18.”
Stage Fifteen (Millau – Carcassonne)
“It is going to be a tough day at the saddle. The route is up and down, until you come to the finish, where the quicker riders on the downhill could make a break for it. But I know there is a sharp turn going into the final kilometre which could make the race interesting should there be a small group sprinting for the win. Riders will go all out knowing they have a rest day tomorrow.”
To stay up to date with UAE Team Emirates’ results during the Tour de France, follow the team’s official social media platforms on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. To get a taste of the tour right here in the UAE, you can sign up to the UAE Team Emirates Youth Academy (8-29 July). Visit JustPlay.ae for more information.
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