Green jersey battle lifts off
Christian Prudhomme has described the fact that Mark Cavendish has won 15 stages over the last three years without ever taking the points title as "an anomaly". It's one that partly explains the overhaul of the intermediate sprints, which have been reduced from three to one, albeit one with a significant haul of points on offer. Will the sprinters' teams now try to control some stages from beginning to end? That's certainly the concern of some team directors. An onshore breeze might complicate the finish but this will surely go to either Cav or his green jersey rivals.
Distance: 198 km
Highest point: 67m
Bernhard Eisel says...
"Heavy Brittany roads and crosswinds… We're not like the GC team guys who can ride themselves in over the first week, we have to pull straight away. It's actually less pressurised because you're not waiting for it to happen – you're making it happen…"
Matt White says...
"The first of very few days for the pure sprinters to shine. Racing in Brittany is no picnic though with Cav and Farrar to go head-to-head."