A guide to the Tour de France
A guide to Stage 13 of the Tour de France 2017, which is 101km from Saint-Girons to Foix. This 14th July stage takes a different approach to most Tour de France stages in the Pyrenees. The riders are asked to tackle some lesser-known climbs, including the Mur de Péguère; and the short total distance (just 101km) is intended to produce dynamic, intense racing over the whole course. Read about Stage 13 of the Tour de France 2017 here.
14th July 2017
On a 101km Pyrenees stage, Warren Barguil had a better sprint than his three breakaway companions. One of them was Mikel Landa, who moves up to fifth overall.
Stage 13 of the Tour de France 2017 starts at Saint-Girons, and crests the first climb, the Col de Latrape, after 30km. After a descent to Aulus-les-Bains, there's a climb to the Col d'Agnes (1,570m). It's then downhill to Massat, before the riders have to go up the Mur de Péguère. As the name mur ('wall') suggests, it's very steep. The stage finishes with a descent to Foix.
Christian Prudhomme says that there has never been such a short stage (or not since half stages were abolished), and he hopes it will lead to 'audacious initiatives'.
|Climbs||Col de Latrape (Category 1)
Col d'Agnes (Category 1)
Mur de Péguère (Category 1)
This is the official map of Stage 13.
The official Tour de France stage profile for Stage 13:
Profile of Stage 13, Tour de France 2017, © ASO/Tour de France organisers
Stage 13 takes place on Friday 14th July 2017.
The publicity caravan leaves Saint-Girons at 12h35, and arrives at the finish in Foix at 15h33. The peloton starts at 14h35 (départ fictif), and reaches the finish between 17h15 and 17h33.
The stage starts in Saint-Girons, on the river Salat.
Leaving Saint-Girons, the riders head south on the D618. They go upstream, alongside the river Salat, through the Gorges de Ribaouto (or Gorges de Ribaute). The stage route takes a right fork on the D3 to Soueix-Rogalle and Oust, then forks right again to Seix.
From Seix, Stage 13 follows the D3 then D8 up the Vallée d'Ustou, alongside a stream called the Alet. There are hairpin bends on the way up to the Col de Latrape (1,110m, Category 1), which lies below the ski resort of Guzet-Neige. The Col de Latrape is the first categorised climb of the day - 5.6km at an average 7.3%.
From the Col de Latrape, the riders descend to the spa resort of Aulus-les-Bains (750m). There may well be television pictures of the Cascade d'Ars waterfall above Aulus.
As soon as the race reaches Aulus-les-Bains, in the Garbet valley, it sets off uphill once again, on the D8 up to the Col d'Agnés (1,570m, Category 1). ClimbByBike rates the average gradient at 8.1% over 10.2km; the Tour de France's figures are 8.2% over 10km.
From the top of the Col, Stage 13 descends past the Etang de Lers to the hamlet of Courtal-de-Bastard, then on the D18 by a stream called the Courtignou to Massat.
From Massat, the riders climb to the Col des Caougnous (947m); once there, the road gets steeper, as it rises like a wall up to the Col de Péguère (1,375m). The climb as a whole is referred to as the Mur de Péguère on this stage of the Tour de France.
Profile of the Mur de Péguère, © ASO/Tour de France organisers
From the Col de Péguère, it's downhill to the finish in Foix.
France Bleu has this map showing the route of the finish of the stage (race route in yellow):
Stage 13 is a chance for the climbers and GC contenders. Someone, or a group of riders, could get a gap over the Col de Péguère, and hold it to the finish. The course might suit Romain Bardet or Simon Yates, but perhaps Fabio Aru will continue his remarkable form.
Stage 14 of the Tour de France 2017 is a hilly stage, 181.5km from Blagnac to Rodez.
Read about Stage 14, Tour de France 2017.
Saint-Girons is a town in the Ariège département, where the Baup and Lez streams flow into the river Salat.
In Roman times, it was on the 'salt road' between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. For the Romans, neighbouring Saint-Lizier was a more important settlement, and there were just a few villas on the site of Saint-Girons. It developed as a town in its own right from around 1100.
In the C19th, the river Salat was used to drive mills - for grinding flour, cutting wood, and for use in the textile industry. Later, paper-making and hydro-electricity industries flourished.
Seix is a village with the motto in Occitan, 'Que som de Seish, cap de paur' - I'm from Seix, and I'm not afraid. It may be a result of Seix's position near the border with Spain, which meant that a certain amount of bravado was required over the centuries.
The village was founded around 1280. It has a château which was rebuilt in 1626.
There used to be tungsten mines here, but since they closed, the main activity is tourism - in summer, and linked to the ski resort of Guzet-Neige in winter.
Massat is a town in the Ariège département, and within the regional natural park of the Pyrénées Ariégeoises.
The area was inhabited in Paleolithic times, as shown by the decorated caves known as Ker de Massat.
There was an iron industry here, but once that died, the area was essentially agricultural, producing in particular butter. Today, it is a peaceful backwater.
Foix is a significant town of 9,721 people. It was the historic capital of the Comté de Foix, and is now the capital of the Ariège département.
The Romans were the first to build a fort on the rocky outcrop where the Château de Foix now stands. In the Middle Ages, the town grew around an Abbey (founded in the C9th) and the château (the first iteration of which was built in the C10th).
Foix is twinned with Ripon in North Yorkshire.
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