Stage 4: Nice to Nice, 25km team time trial
The boys arrive back on mainland France in their skinsuits as today is all about the team time trial. Nine men riding in perfect harmony makes it one of the more elegant of stages but if that harmony is disturbed, well, it can get pretty ugly.
The parcours today is flat with long, straight stretches, especially along the Promenade des Anglais, which will allow strong teams to really crank up the speed. There are a few tight corners, which could prove a team or two’s undoing. With Sky and Omega Pharma-Quick Step both struggling with injuries to key men Geraint Thomas and Tony Martin, the smart money will be on Garmin-Sharp, but look out also for Movistar. GC contenders in teams who aren’t as strong might find themselves playing catch-up after today’s stage. It’s all but certain that Jan Bakelants will lose the yellow jersey today, as RadioShack-Leopard’s line-up is relatively weak in this discipline in the absence of Fabian Cancellara.
Bit of trivia: Although Omega Pharma-Quick Step are the team time trial world champions, we won’t see nine white skinsuits streaking along the promenade, as there is no rainbow jersey for this discipline.
Link: Official website
Header image: Nice