Stage 3 - Monday, July 4: La Châtaigneraie - Tours, 212.5 km

Finishing in the town of Tours, home to the finish of the late-season Paris-Tours race, stage 3 is another stage tailor-made for the sprinters. Another chance for McEwen et al to show they can make light work of three approximately 1km, Cat 4 climbs and three intermediate sprints to take the stage victory. The two later climbs, at 161.5km and 179.5km should make the selection for those contesting the sprint come 5 o'clock. The last time Tours hosted a stage was in 2000, and it welcomes the Tour back with a probable exciting sprint finish. This is a stage very well suited to a sprinter such as Fassa's Alessandro Petacchi; but without the presence of Ale Jet at this year's Tour, and a number of sprinters on song, look to riders such as Baden Cooke to stamp their authority on the early stages after a mostly forgettable couple of seasons since winning the green jersey in 2003.

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