Tour preview: Stage 4

With a fond au revoir to the UK, the peloton hails a cheery bonjour to France. This is definitely a stage to make the sprinters rub their hands in anticipation of glory and securing more points for the green jersey.

Tuesday 8th July: Stage 4 – Le Touquet-Paris-Plague to Lille Metropole, flat, 163.5km

TdF 2014 St 4 profile

As the riders roll out of the elegant and fashionable Le Touquet, they face a rolling parcours containing two cat 4 climbs. Expect to see a breakaway go, but kept on a tight leash until the sprint teams reel them in for a final, frantic last 20km. The finish is more likely to suit the pure speedsters so look to the usual suspects: double stage winner Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano), Peter Sagan (Cannondale), Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol), who has been a little off-colour so far, and Bryan Coquard (Europcar), who has been active so far in his first Tour and sits third in the green jersey standings.

The last 3km is relatively uncomplicated, although the finishing straight is short, narrow and curves gently to the left, which could result in some excitement at the very end.

Adding an extra pinch of spice to the proceedings, finishing positions today will dictate the position of team cars for tomorrow’s stage over the Roubaix pavé. No GC team will want to be near the back of the queue for handing out replacement bikes and wheels.

Link: Official website

Header image: Lille

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