Director sportif John Lelangue said two races could develop on the race's longest stage, which is largely flat until the race hits the foot of the climb in Bédoin, almost 21km from the summit.
"It could be a big breakaway going for the finish," said Lelangue of the 242km stage. "There could be two races in one. Maybe there is one from the leaders and one for the stage. It's clearly going to be a difficult stage, it's a long stage, a really, really fast approach and then the climb," he said.
Meanwhile he said the team was on guard for any traps which could emerge on the next three stages – including today's 218km journey between Fougères and Tours – but refused to be drawn on how far up the general classification team leader Cadel Evans could rise.
He said: "You have to be concentrated – you never know what could happen in stages like this," he said. "There are a lot of mountain stages, one more time trial and a lot can change in the Tour so until the last day of the last week we cannot discuss anything."
2011 Tour winner Evans slipped to 23rd on the first mountain stage to Ax-3-Domaines. But on the second high mountain stage and yesterday's flat time trial, the Australian recovered and now lies 14th, 58-seconds behind the next rider on the GC, Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp).
Sam started as a trainee reporter on daily newspapers in the UK before moving to South Africa where he contributed to national cycling magazine Ride for three years. After moving back to the UK he joined Procycling as a staff writer in November 2010.
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