The spell of unsettled weather hovering over the 2000 Tour de France looks set to reach a peak tomorrow (Monday) during the crucial first mountain stage to Hautacam ski resort.
The expectations that the 10th stage will finally see the Tour’s heavyweight contenders come to blows have been increased by a forecast that brings to mind the infamous Galibier stage of the 1998 Tour, when Marco Pantani ruthlessly dethroned Jan Ullrich to decisively take that year’s ‘maillot jaune.’
Along the route of the stage, the forecast is as follows:
At Dax, the start town, there will be rain and windy conditions
On the first climb, the Col de Marie-Blanque, there will be fog and rain, and 50 kms per hour winds, temperature 11 degrees
The rain will become heavier and more thundery on the Col d’Aubisque with winds up to 60 kms per hour at the summit, temperature 6 degrees
The riders will leave the cloud base and the winds will be less strong on the drop from the Col du Soulor
The finish at Hautacam will be in fog and rain and, at the remote ski station summit, the temperature will be approximately 8 degrees…
Another day for Pantani, perhaps…?