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Hyper-aggressive position for the sprint lead-out
How much air pressure pros use at the Tour de France
National theme bike for Tour's lone Japanese rider
Teams bringing multiple models of sponsor bikes
Le Mans – Châteauroux
Fast and furious finish
Finally we come to something a lot more straightforward and typical of what almost every first-week stage at the Tour used to look like. There is nothing to concern anyone as the race starts to turn south, so expect lots of sunflower shots, a long and probably fruitless breakaway and the sprinters going elbow to elbow at the finish. Mark Cavendish will have particularly happy memories of Châteauroux, as he claimed his first Tour stage win in the town back in 2008. Winner of four stages that year, this is one of just half a dozen opportunities he'll get in this edition.
Distance: 218 km
Highest point: 178m
Bernhard Eisel says...
"The GC battle starts the following day but as this is pan-flat, it's a massive stage for the green jersey. Haven't seen the finish yet, but regardless of what other teams do, we work. We have the best sprinter so it's our responsibility to make it come together."
Matt White says...
"This is a relaxing respite in between two storms of an unorthodox first week and the battle for the General Classification. Again, Cav and Farrar could go head-to-head."