Stage 17 of the 2012 Tour de France covers 143.5 kilometers and features several tough climbs, two of which come near the end.
The overview from Jean-Francois Pescheux:
"Short (143.5 km) but tough! We designed a Pyrenean counterpart to the Alpine stage between Albertville and La Toussuire. But now that we are a mere three days from the finish, if the general classification has not been decided yet this will be the last chance for climbers to build a buffer. There will also be loads of points up for grabs for the mountains classification... The course offers no respite. The first climb is the Col de Menté, famous since 1971, which will be followed by the Col des Ares and the Port de Balès. This will be the first time that the finish is decided on the Plateau de Peyragudes, a ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées."
For more information on this stage, including maps and other route details, check out the Tour's website.
The NBC Sports Network will have coverage of Stage 17 beginning at 6:30 a.m. CT. For additional coverage.
For more on the Tour de France, please be sure to check out cycling blog Podium Cafe and SB Nation Chicago for all the latest news and updates. More coverage can be found in SB Nation's Tour de France StoryStream.