Arguably the easiest stage on this year’s route, these 153.5km take the race into the heart of Champagne country to finish in the beautiful cathedral city of Reims.
While not as flat as previous stages, there are no significant lumps and it’s a relatively short distance. That means that there’s barely time for any breakaway riders to build a useful advantage before the sprinters’ teams will gather to chase them down.
A possible complicating factor is the wind on Champagne’s exposed plains, but it would have to be some breeze to trouble the peloton enough to lead to a split. Nevertheless, if it is windy you can expect the riders to be nervous. Ultimately, that’s likely to mean that crashes are a bigger threat to the favourites than the formation of echelons.
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