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The anticipation builds ahead of Bastille Day at the Tour de France each year. Falling on Stage 13, this year’s race will finish atop the Grand Colombier but what is it about Bastille Day at the Tour de France that sets it apart from every other stage of the race?  



The day itself (July 14th) is the National Holiday of France, a day that marks the storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution. A monumental event, which over two centuries later, aligns harmoniously with the world’s biggest and most gruelling endurance event, the Tour de France. Capturing the heart of the nation, the race effortlessly displays the beauty of France, from mountains to meadows, taking in cities and chateaus along its route.  

Bastille Day at the Tour is notorious for excitement, home fans are always eager for a French victory. This anticipation is growing, as the last French victor was Warren Barguil back in 2017. In contrast, we have seen memorable moments from the likes of Chris Froome, who in 2016 when unable to get a spare bike, took off running up Mount Ventoux to limit his losses in the GC. A move that helped him secure an overall victory that year with Team Sky. Another throwback for British Cycling fans was stage 10 of the 2009 Tour, where a certain Mark Cavendish sprinted to his third Tour stage win.  



Winning a stage of the Tour de France is the highlight for any rider in the peloton. It puts you in a select list of competitors that achieved something truly great, but winning on Bastille Day takes all of that to another level. This is exactly what Tom Pidcock of the INEOS Grenadiers achieved in 2022 when he won the legendary stage from Braincon to Alpe d’Huez on Stage 12. Showcasing his impressive descending skills, Tom took off at the bottom of the final climb and never looked back, fighting through the madness of the crowds and the Tricolore that lined the road. “You have to just pray that they move out of the way, but that was the best experience,” he reflected after taking his first Grand Tour Stage Win in the most historic fashion. 


How different is a stage on Bastille Day to other stages? Not only are the crowds and support immense on Bastille Day but often it coincides with an iconic stage route. Last year Grand Tour debutant Tom Pidcock covered the 165km distance at an average of 33.534 km/h, which is no mean feat when you consider he climbed over 4,600 metres, making it one of the toughest days out on the bike of the entire race.  

Scaling the Col du Galibier, the Col de la Croix de Fer and finally the 21 hairpins of Alpe d’Huez, Pidcock’s nutrition, fuelling and hydration were critical components for success, with such a physically and mentally demanding stage calling on all energy reserves.  

An example of a nutrition strategy for such a stage could have looked like this:  


Beta Fuel 80 (Bidon) x 4  320g 
Beta Fuel Chews x 2  90g 
Beta Fuel Gels x 2  80g 
Beta Fuel Nootropics  40g 
GO Energy Bake x 2  60g 
Total  590g (100 – 120g carbohydrates per hour) 

*This is a general fuelling breakdown; product types and variations might change depending on rider. 


Just like the rest of the team, the main source of energy throughout the stage comes from the SiS BETA Fuel range. First designed to give riders more carbohydrates through a combination of maltodextrin and fructose delivered in a ratio of 1:0.8, the BETA Fuel range has been a game changer, allowing the INEOS Grenadiers to achieve incredible results since the products first inception at the 2018 Giro D’Italia. 



This year riders will be tackling the 17.4km long climb up to the finish of the Grand Colombier with an average gradient of 7.1%. Just like previous years, the climb is bound to be lined with cycling fanatics. Will it be a breakaway fighting it out for the stage honours or will this be a pivotal moment for the GC midway through the second week? Whatever is in store, Bastille Day 2023 on Stage 13 is set to be as monumental as ever, with the winner earning a place in the record books.  

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