Saint Gaudens > Plateau de Beille

The third day in the Pyrenees, and the toughest of them. The Col de Port d’Aspet comes early on, meaning there will be attacks from the outset, and there’s plenty more opportunities ahead on some of the Pyrenees’ lesser-known climbs followed by a Hors-Categorie summit finish. This could prove to be one of the most gripping days of racing in the 2011 Tour.

Thought for the Day

The three previous occasions that there’s been a stage finish here, the winner – Marco Pantani in 1998, Lance Armstrong in 2002 and Alberto Contador in 2007 – has gone on to clinch the overall title. With the Alps still to come, that may not be the case today, but it’s a stage for the big guns nevertheless.

GT’s tips

It's very up and down and will be a long, hard, hot mountain stage. The GC guys will be going for it on that final climb and it will be a big fight all the way to the top. The stages before will have given a good indicator of who's going well but there will be a few time gaps by the end of today.

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.