Basso certainly looked good.Think Basso will crack Evans in the final week and I'm not writing off Contador yet. I can see Basso winning this if it goes to plan.
Tonight has a big HC climb, but plenty of time to gather a chase group to hunt down anyone who makes a break. The descent will probably matter more than the climb. I doubt any of the contenders will make a break
Saturday has a bunch of mid-range climbs, then ends on a HC ( Plateau de Beille )...Anyone with any legs will go hard here to make a break, because they following few days will be 'easy'. It should be 'fun' (to watch anyway).
Then 2 transition stages, with a rest day between...No real interest for the GC beyond 'don't get hurt'. The second ends on a cat-2, but that shouldn't be a major issue.
Wednesday they start to hit the Alps with a medium mountain stage...again, this shouldn't have a signfiicant effect on the GC.
So between now and stage 18 on Thursday, there should only be 1 stage that is likely to have a significant effect on the GC. The order should be much as it is now ( Voeckler might still be in the Yellow! ), with only a little bit of shuffling.
Then things get very very nasty.
Stage 18 is an absolute beast...Think last night, but worse. 200km, 3 climbs, but they're ALL HC, with the rise for the first starting only 31km after the start ( and rises 2400M over 70KM ), so practically the entire stage is up or down.
I was tempted to say stage 18 would largely decide the final standings, but Stage 19 is Alpe d'Huez, a cat-1, then 2 massive, legendary, HC climbs, all happening the day after they would have destroyed themselves on Galibier Serre-Chevalier. Only the very strongest will get over this stage in any semblance of order.
The very next day they have the ITT, asking the very direct question of what do they have left. No team tactics, no watching your man and trying to break him, just how fast can your tired legs cover 42.5km. Solo. The better time trialists could make up a minute or two here...If they still have it in them.
The last stage, is traditionally more a procession than a race as far as the GC goes, so unless they're very, very close, it doesn't count for competitive purposes.