Stage 13 - July 14: Avignon - Draguignan, 185.5 km
Start time: 11:49
It's 14 Juillet, France's national holiday. So the popular favorite to win on the hard and hilly ride across the lower Vaucluse and Var departements of France is Richard Virenque. Starting from Avignon, the city of deposed popes and incomplete bridges the stage has three 4th cat. climbs and an unceasing up and down profile. Perhaps the final climb of the Cote de l'Esparrus with 16km to race will serve as Virenque's launching pad for a home win.
Many people still can't figure out why Banesto rode so hard yesterday, as both Zülle and Jimenez exploded in the first kilometre of the ascent of Mont Ventoux. Their top man in the Tour is now Francesco Mancebo, 8th at 9.42.
Weather: Fairly overcast and humid, and there could even some showers. It will be fast today because of prevailing tailwind.
Km 44.5 - Côte
de Saint-Hilaire - 4.1 km climb at 4.3% (Cat. 4)
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