Tour de France 2015 Stage 8 preview: Rennes - Mur de Bretagne, 181.5 km

Along with Flanders, the Basque Country, Tuscany and, recent history might teach us, Yorkshire, Brittany is one of the true heartlands of cycling. The Tour always draws huge crowds, but there will be a noticeable increase in the fervour and intensity of support in Brittany, where the locals proudly wave the eye-catching black and white flag of the region.

First things first, while the composition of the early break in a Tour stage is always a delicate balance of luck, motivation, circumstance and ambition, there WILL be a Bretagne-Seché Environnement rider in today’s break. The Breton team had a hard time at their debut Tour in 2014, which didn’t go anywhere near Brittany, but with more experience and the added motivation of shining in front of their fans, expect them to race aggressively on their home roads this year. Today is likely to be the biggest thing that’s ever happened to the team, win or lose.

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