Hall, Thomas to lead team at La Course by the Tour de France
If Katie Hall says this year’s route of La Course is most challenging she’s ever ridden, you know the 112.5-kilometer race will to be an exciting, yet hard fought battle for top honors in eastern France July 17. This year’s parcours starts in Duingt and takes in four categorized climbs before finishing in Le Grand-Bornand. The real tests are Col de la Romme and the Col de la Colombière two category 1 climbs before a 13 kilometers descent rising to a false flat right before the finish line.
Challenging one-day race to be held July 17
“We rode most of the route today and I think It’s the hardest course I have ever raced on,” said Katie Hall, winner of the women’s Tour of California. “They are four categorized climbs including two Cat 1 climbs and quite a bit of wind. I’m not sure how the race will play out in the last descent except I know it will be very small groups or single riders that go over the top of the final climb. The descent has both technical aspects and parts where real power will be required to maintain a gap or chase down a leader. The final descent means that more abilities are needed than simply pure climbing.”
Leah Thomas, fresh from her overall win at the Tour de Feminin, said she’s excited to carry the team’s winning momentum to La Course. Rushlee Buchanan, Diana Peñuela, Lizzy Banks and Lauretta Hanson will round out the six-rider roster.
“At Feminin, we showed the strength within the team, with many of us taking podiums and finishing with the overall win, a podium sweep in the time trial, and top tens in GC,” Thomas said. “I think we have a good team for hilly, hard courses. I believe our team excels on attritional courses and the final of the race will be relentless.”
“The penultimate climb, the Col de Romme is long and steep.” Thomas went on to say. “While the final climb, the Col de la Colombiere is slightly shorter and shallower, there is very little respite between the two climbs. It will be interesting to see how the race plays out. If a rider can go solo down the final 15 km descent or make it to the line, or if the climbers will regroup into a small bunch sprint finish.”