Date: Tuesday, July 18
Start: Le Puy-en-Velay
Distance: 165km (102.5mi)
Sprinters, breakaway, or crosswind specialists? Stage 16 could suit all these riders with the outcome very much dependant on how the sprinters teams race the stage. An uphill start with two categorised climbs, these will prompt attacks to form the early breakaway but should not be hard enough to drop the sprinters properly. With all the major climbing done by the 70km mark, there is still enough time for the teams to bring it all back together before the finale through the Rhone Valley where crosswinds are a very real possibility to break up the peloton. Expect a nervous stage for the peloton as general classification riders will be wary of the weather conditions and the sprinters will want to make the most of perhaps their last opportunity before Paris.
Christian Prudhomme, race director: “The roads of the day are perfectly known by the amateur riders of the Ardéchoise cyclosportive, with a topography that could give confidence to breakaway riders. But finishes in the Rhône Valley often end up with bunched sprints… unless the wind plays a role.”