Battle for polka dot jersey and podium places set to unfold on Tourmalet and Hautacam

It’s a big day in the Tour de France today with the final mountain stage, one that should be decisive for the polka dot jersey and which, together with Saturday’s individual time trial, will also help shape the final podium. Here’s GCN’s Daniel Lloyd with his stage preview, and there is also a flythrough video of today’s route.

There are two monster climbs on today’s 145.5km stage from Pau, both Hors-Catégorie – the Tourmalet and the Hautacam – and as a summit finish the latter carries double points as yesterday’s stage winner, Rafal Majka of Tinkoff-Saxo, and Katusha’s Joaquin Rodriguez look to settle the mountains classification.

Vincenzo Nibali of Astana is running away with the overall and may look to seal his victory in style today, but there is likely to be a big battle for the remaining podium places with Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde looking to defend his second place on GC from the threat of French riders Thibaut Pinot of FDJ.fr and AG2R’s Jean-Christophe Péraud.

We’ll also see a lot of riders and teams try and get into what should be a big breakaway group today as they look to rescue something from the Tour. It should be a cracking stage.

Dan Lloyd rides the stage

Google Earth fly-through

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.