Épernay – Metz
Highest point: 393m
Last sprint before the hills
The race continues east with another stage that’s sure to be a sprint. There’s one categorised climb, soon after the day’s intermediate sprint, but the sprinters won’t be too troubled by it. Plus, they have the motivation of knowing that this will be their last moment in the spotlight for the best part of a week, so they won’t want to pass this chance up. With the mountains just ahead, the baroudeurs, who like nothing more than several hours out at the front of the race, will be evident too. Could this be a day when one of them goes the whole distance? Probably not, but that won’t stop them trying.
Sean Yates: "It is too early to be going for intermediate sprints so we won’t be trying keep it together. It’s the last flat stage and then we hit the mountains – the combination of us [Sky], Omega Pharma-Quick-Step and Lotto will surely lead to a sprint."
Maps and profiles courtesy of ASO