Pau, a stronghold? Pau, a strategic place? On today's menu, a 197 km classic succession of great Pyrenean cols: the Aubisque, Tourmalet, Col d'Aspin and Peyresourde. As Christian Prudhomme said, a mere four days from the finish, this stage will turn the thumbscrews on the peloton! Moreover, such a course is exactly my idea of a true mountain stage: not with a summit finish, which tends to lock up the race a bit, but an up-and-down course which calls for a mastery of all aspects of cycling. Two years ago, Andy Schleck vacillated somewhat on the descents... Probably won't have to worry too much about him doing that again. Or his bro.
I reckon Evans has to drop the hammer on the descent to the line, but there's already a break of about 40 riders - they could stay away.
Cool pictures of a boring stage..
A few useful links