We've seen enough of the tactics employed by the various teams vying for the biggest prize of the 100th Tour de France to have a reasonable understanding of what we can expect to see in the final stage in the mountains of the 2013 edition. Going on the habits of the firs three weeks, it's safe to assume the following...
Sky will defend Chris Froome's lead.
Saxo-Tinkoff will be strong and attack if there's even the slightest whiff of weakness from the yellow jersey.
Movistar will set things up for Nairo Quintana to finish off the stage strongly.
RadioShack-Leopard will send as many riders as possible out on early attacks.
And there are likely to be a few minor changes to a range of classifications. But it would take a strange twist of fate for the the 5'11” deficit that Alberto Contador has on Froome to shrink enough for the Spaniard to wrestle the yellow jersey from the Brit. That, however, remains Saxo-Tinkoff's quest. Movistar now have two men in the top 10 overall and things may have been entirely different were it not for Alejandro Valverde's untimely puncture in stage 13. But now the aim is to put Quintana in the polka-dot jersey (as well as the white one he's bound to win) and consolidate his place on the podium. And RadioShack? They are still hoping to win a third team classification in four years...
And that leaves us with the question of what else will happen... who will win the stage. Judging by the antics in stage 19, we could safely say that the answer is: one of a vast range of riders. There were, after all, over 50 men on the attack en route to Le Grand Bornand – and that was a six-hour stage. At 125 kilometres, the 20th stage promises to be compelling viewing even without the ambiguity that existed only a fortnight ago.