Stage 13: Muret to Rodez

Cahors Chateau

Cahors:  The Original Malbec

The Tour visits Muret for the first time this year.  Located outside the city limits of Toulouse, Muret, like its bigger cousin to the north, has ties to the birth of France’s aviation industry.  Native son Clément Ader reportedly created the first motorized flying machine in Muret, his prototype based on a velocipede model featured at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1867.

Members of the peloton will wish they had access to such a machine to navigate today’s stage, which includes a sprint 92 meters in, then a Cat 3 climb, followed by two Cat 4 ascents.  Unlike in recent days, the race to the finish line is a descent into Rodez.  It will be interesting to see how the riders have fared throughout the Pyrénées, and how much energy it has taken out of them.  My pick to win the stage is Nairo Quintana.  I think his training in the mountains of Colombia will make all the difference as the GC contenders try to finish the Pyrénées without losing time to their opponents.  I also think he will be in the yellow jersey at the end of the day.