Stage 5 - Wednesday, July 6: Chambord - Montargis, 183 km

Another of the Tour's early stages for the sprinters, there are plenty of green jersey points on offer over a stage with only one Cat 4 climb - it's mostly flat, fast riding, and a day for one of the fast men to enjoy some time in the yellow jersey. In 2004 it was Thomas Voeckler who spent 10 days as the darling of France in the yellow jersey over the opening stages. The route sweeps further north and heads closer to its entry into Germany, with plenty to look at throughout the scenic Loir-et-Cher region - not that the riders will have much time for that, as average speeds of around 40-45km/h will prevent most from enjoying the sights. Although on a different route last year, Cofidis' Australian rider Staurt O'Grady took stage 5 in 2004 in the wet, but in dry weather this year it will most likely come down to another showdown between McEwen, Cooke, Hushovd and Boonen, and anyone else who wants to join the party.

Images ©:AFP

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