Tour de France preview: Stage 5

Stage 5: Rouen to St-Quentin, 196.5km, flat

With a finish line on the edge of Champs-Elysees Park in St-Quentin, this can only be a stage for the sprinters. Orica-GreenEDGE sprint coach Robbie McEwen won here when the Tour previously visited in 2006. Flat and fairly uneventful before the last few kilometres, this will give the peloton a chance to spin the last few stages out of their legs. Mark Cavendish has won stage five of the Tour in three of the last four years so he’ll want to make that four out of five.

The run-in to the finish contains a couple of tight bends just after the 3km and 2km markers, and then a very sharp left-hander at 1.3km, where positioning will be vital and there is high potential for a crash. And although it’s fairly straight from there, whoever has the inside line on the slight left kink 130m from the finish could have a distinct advantage. With McEwen lending his experience of the finish, this could help propel Matt Goss to victory, although Cavendish, Greipel and company will be right up there too.

Cycling the Alps’ interactive videos of the route can be found here.

Link: Official website

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