Stage 20: Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle – Espelette. 31km.

The struggle isn’t quite over. Today’s stage is a time trial (ergo blessedly short), but it’s a punchy one, with quite a bit of climbing, and a 10% stretch 3km from the finish. Some of us will use this as an opportunity to empty the tank before the long transfer to Paris in the afternoon – others will take it easier, enjoying the Basque scenery and looking forward to seeing the famous (and recently very trendy on menus all over France) peppers of Espelette, hanging out to dry from all of the town’s balconies: one more regional snapshot before we head to the capital.