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Videos: TdF Stage 18 preview of a monster final day in the Pyrenees

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 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

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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