Stage 11 will start in the tiny village of Vatan - population 2,000 - and symbolises a tribute to rural France. Vatan (pronounced 'Va-t'en', which means 'get lost') hosted a meeting of representatives of villages with similarly funny-sounding names last year - such as 'Montéton' ('my tit') or 'Trécon' ('Very stupid').
The peloton might not have a chance to laugh though, as the 192km-journey to Saint-Fargeau as the stage promises to be fast. The 2009 green jersey of best sprinter could be decided today!
See full-size map and profile.
Another similar day of roly poly attacking action, but perhaps this day the break succeeds. I’d say a group of 12 or so get away, and on the final 4th category climb, 3 or 4 of them escape to contest the stage finish.
A day for the French, perhaps? Jerome Pineau or Perrick Fedrigo?
If the break comes back, which it may, another hotly contested sprint finish in which guys are pushing and poking for 2nd and 3rd too, as the race for the green jersey will be intense during these middle days.