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Lorient – Mûr-de-Bretagne
Paradise for the puncheurs
Another of Prudhomme's ploys is to attempt to put the race's major players under pressure on as many days as possible. Although of average length, this run into central Brittany could cause a surprise as the roads in the region are notoriously heavy, meandering and lumpy. That could mean splits in the bunch. More likely, though, are splits among the leaders on the 2km climb to the finish, which will be undertaken at extremely high speed. Once again, puncheurs like Gilbert and FDJ's Pierrick Fédrigo will in their element while the specialist sprinters will struggle.
Distance: 172.5 km
Highest point: 293m
Sean Yates says...
"I saw the Mur de Bretagne once, back in 1999 – it's a real wall. The finish is maybe too hard for Voeckler to win on if the race comes together at the bottom but you never know, with the way Thomas is riding at the moment."
Matt White says...
"Another heavy day in Brittany with a very solid two kilometre climb to the finish. Very hard to go past Mr 2011 Philippe Gilbert."