The Tour de France moves into day two of the Pyrenees on Stage 13. The peloton will cross over some smaller mountains before hitting the massive Hors Category Col d'Aubisque.
However, after a long descent, there is a 13 km flat to the finish into Lourdes.
GC contenders should also be very careful on a stage like this. Last year, Andy Schleck lost half of minute to Alberto Contador when his chain fell on a hard climb and a stage finish similar to today's stage.
Contador pushed hard on the downhill and flat, Schleck could not catch up, and it became Contador's winning deficit.
Otherwise, this stage is also prime opportunity for a strong climber to get into a breakaway on the climb and make a fast descent to get the stage win.
Yesterday's stage was won by Euskataltel's Samuel Sanchez who broke away on the climb to Luz Ardiden making up about a minute to the other contenders.
GC contenders Andy Schleck, Cadel Evans, and Ivan Basso finished together on the climb, getting a 13 second gap on Alberto Contador who struggled in the final kilometer.
Frank Schleck, who attacked out of the elite group on behalf of his brother, was able to get a 20 second gap on the Schleck, Evans, Basso group.
Perhaps most impressive on the day was the performance by Europcar's Thomas Voekler who kept his yellow jersey by gritting his teeth and fighting up the final climb. He finished just after Contador on the climb and gave a big victory to the French on Bastille Day.
While Voekler was impressive, riders like HTC pair Peter Velits and Tony Martin struggled throughout and were dropped. Andreas Kloden got injured and now is no longer considered a contender for the overall win.
On the other hand, American rider Tom Danielson of Garmin-Cevelo shot his way up the GC standings sitting in 9th place, which puts him in a good position to place in the top 10 or 5 by the end of the race.
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