Stage 4 - Tuesday, July 5: Tours - Blois TTT, 67.5 km

Only three kilometres longer than last year's team time trial, this year's TTT follows either side of the River Loire for the better part of the stage, and once again looks perfectly suited to the powerhouse of Tour TTTs, Discovery Channel. With some rolling sections in the latter part of the course, the discipline and strength with which the Disco boys ride will come to the fore. Look to the fast and furious Phonak squad, led by Floyd Landis and Santiago Botero, to follow up their recent second placing in the Eindhoven Pro Tour team time trial competition, and CSC, who have been performing consistently so far after shooting out of the blocks early in the season. In 2004, US Postal excelled in the wet conditions as T-Mobile faltered in the rain - if it's dry in 2005, there won't be much separating the top teams on the clock in Blois. But without Russian veteran powerhouse Viatcheslav Ekimov, Discovery Channel may not be able to put the same amount of time into the field as they did in '04, leaving the door open for the in-form teams to shake it up - look for another surprise in the maillot jaune.

Those team time trial rules explained

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