At 222.5 km long, Stage 18 is the second longest stage in the entire tour, and figures to add a bit of intrigue to the closing of the race as well. The route between Blagnac and Brive-la-Gaillarde shines for sprinters who can get out ahead over the first 117 km before the hills kick in. It should make for a wild finish, as the final 10 km are virtually all downhill (full details of the map are here).
The layout of this stage begs for a sprint finish and it will be the question of whose legs are still able to hold up after such a long stage this deep into the race. But 14 teams are still without a victory, and although it appears Bradley Wiggins is quite close to locking up a victory, there are still some individual chances for glory left.
Coverage of the 2012 Tour De France can be found on NBC Sports Network starting around 5 a.m. PT. You should also have the opportunity to watch it online via a subscription with NBC Sports.