Stage 10: Saint-Gildas-des-Bois to Saint-Malo, 197km, flat
The boys have made the transfer to Brittany, had their rest day and today the sprinters will have another chance to test their fast-twitch muscles. They ride towards the finish through the Coëtquidan military camp, where cadets from Saint-Cyr will line up to salute the peloton. Kids, it doesn’t get more French than this!
The stage is classed as flat but as you can see from the profile, the boys will have to do a little work getting over the less flat parts of this stage, including a cat 4 climb in the form of Cote de Dinan in the final third of the stage. A break will go out – almost perfect for Philippe Gilbert with a little Johnny Hoogerland thrown in – and the GC contenders will let the sprinters’ teams control the gap. Things will probably close up in the last 20km, however, with the threat of crosswinds blowing in off the sea making everyone anxious not to get caught on the wrong side of a split.
It should be a spectacular finish in the walled city of Saint-Malo – fast and furious, with a final 5km which is slightly downhill and contains no more than a couple of gently meandering bends, none of those nasty 90-degree corners today! Messrs Greipel and Cavendish will be desperate to win and hopefully make some kind of inroads into Peter Sagan‘s huge points advantage. Expect pictures from the finish to be some of the lasting images of this year’s Tour.
Bit of trivia: Legends will be honoured today: first is Louison Bobet, the three-time champion, who was born in St-Meen-Le-Grand. The second is podium protector and five-time champion Bernard Hinault, who lives near Saint-Malo.
Link: Official website
Header image: The cadets at Saint-Cyr