Those who are hoping to wear the green jersey on the podium in Paris will want to take advantage of this last sprint stage before the climbing begins. That said, the profile – fairly flat with the Cat 4 Cote de Bruxieres 63km from the finish – could theoretically lend itself to a breakaway going all the way. But as we know, all the stars need to be aligned for that to happen – either that or that the sprinters’ teams can’t be bothered to chase which, given that the next opportunity for the sprinters is over a week away, is highly unlikely. Expect the bunch to arrive together and at high speed in Metz.
Neither the intermediate nor the finish are totally straightforward, though. The former ramps uphill twice in the final 2km, including the last 600m or so. And on the run-in to the finish the sprint trains must negotiate a right-hand hairpin just before 2km, followed by a right-left flick before the flamme rouge and then a 90-degree left leading onto the final 700m straight. Lotto-Belisol will be looking to propel Andre Greipel to a hat-trick of consecutive wins. Everyone else will be massing to stop him.
Cycling the Alps’ interactive videos of the route can be found here.
Link: Official website