Pau to Lourdes – 152.5 km
Todays sprint prime should see the likes of Cavendish again doing his utmost to gain some valuable point in this classification. A 3rd and 4th cat climb stand in his way but I’m sure his HTC will ride full gas to get him to the prime as he will not be in contention after the Aubisque. Gilbert should be in contention after the Aubisque to pick up points in the classification and if he has any difficulty on the Aubisque he will no doubt ride hard to get back to the leader for some valuable points.
The last 30km of the stage are down hill and if a small group can stay away until the top of the Aubisque they will have every chance in making it to the finish in Lourdes ahead of the peleton. Looking at yesterdays stage it seems that the peleton are tired from the first weeks racing, there is something lethargic about the riders. Maybe all the crashed, bad weather and the general feel of nervousness has taken its toll already.
With such a distance to the finish from the top of the Aubisque I can’t see any of the GC riders taking any time on each other unless one team is able to keep some domestique for that last 30 km.