Beware of sea breezes
This is a relatively short stage but once again, Prudhomme has allowed for the possibility of a surprise. With 70 coastal kilometres into the finish, echelons are sure to form if the wind picks up strongly off the English Channel. Of course, last year Prudhomme and co. made a good deal of exactly this happening on the opening road stage in Holland but the stage passed in almost total calm. But even in easy conditions, there is sure to be a big battle near the front of the peloton in the closing kilometres, which should conclude with a hotly contested bunch sprint.
Distance: 164.5 km
Highest point: 281m
Vin Denson says...
"On paper it looks nailed-on for the sprinters but it depends a lot on the weather along the coast. If the wind gets up, you might see echelons forming, and so as usual it'll be a scrap to stay near the front. One thing's for sure – it'll be very, very fast."
Matt White says...
"Wind will be a big factor in deciding how stressful today is. Another day for the pure sprinters and one to dread if the argy-bargy of cross-winds are not your thing."