Events such as this one allow mere mortals replicate what it is like to ride a hard Tour stage.
Alberto Contador gave a glimpse of the old attacking style he hoped would allow him to challenge for overall victory in the Tour de France on Wednesday but the Spaniard's audacious attacks ultimately counted for nothing.
It is at least a rare but welcome chance to see the women's peloton take on one of the great Tour climbs, with today's finish on top of the Col d'Izoard.
The 14km ascent at an average 7.3% gradient means it is likely to be one of the pure climbers reaching the summit first, like Deignan's American Boels-Dolmans team-mate Megan Guarnier.
After a few kilometres a sharp right turn signalled the start of the real climbing and having saved myself for most of the day, the time comes to ratchet things up. As the local farmers don't grow grapes, the best option is to try one of the many local beers.
A toot of the horn from one of the race organizer's cars is issued as a warning if the rider is deemed to be holding on for too long.
The Nelson College student and aspiring road cyclist was racing against George Bennett as recently as last summer.
- Miguel Indurain of Spain (1991-1995), the first competitor to win five consecutive races.
Sunweb have now won three of the last four stages, have Frenchman Warren Barguil in the climbers' polka dot jersey and are now dreaming of taking green in Paris.
The group had riders of all ages and abilities, all of whom had put in countless hours in the Wicklow mountains across the spring and early summer getting ready for the big day.
Once over the Glandon there comes a treacherous 20kms descent, followed by 25kms across a valley floor to St Michel de Maurienne. But the true local specialty is the Guillestrine, a pie with a thin crust stuffed with fruit jam and covered with a criss cross of pastry strips. And now he's planning to pedal towards the elite level of the sport.
"It was not very sportsmanlike".
Majka hit the deck on the descent of the Col de la Biche, bringing down a number of other riders including Team Sky's Geraint Thomas.
"I was waiting for the result and he grabbed me on the way past".
October 22, 2012 - The International Cycling Union announces that Armstrong is being stripped of his Tour de France titles and is being banned from professional cycling for life. The officials saw that.
Polish cyclist Pawel Poljanski posted a picture of his sun-frazzled, vein-popping legs after day 18 of the competition.
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