Stage 4: Redon - Fougères
Date: June 29, 2021
Stage timing: 13:25 - 16:52 CEDT
Stage type: Flat
Stage 4 preview video
From the start in Redon, the route tracks north-east, in the process looping well to the east of Rennes, whose Green Party mayor refused the opportunity to host the 2021 Grand Départ both on financial grounds and because of the Tour’s carbon footprint. At Liffré, the riders will turn due east to reach the intermediate sprint at Vitré, where the candidates for the green jersey should briefly emerge from the fast-moving pack to claim the points on offer. Turning north here, the riders will follow a very straight course towards Fougères, where the finish is the same one that featured in the 2015 Tour, when Mark Cavendish was the victor.
There’s likely to be no stopping the sprinters on this short stage that travels across Brittany’s fourth department, Ille-et-Vilaine, with, it should be noted, not a single categorised climb to disrupt the peloton’s progress. While the Giro d’Italia’s organisers are still wedded to quite lengthy sprint stages, Tour boss Christian Prudhomme and his team are hoping that this shortish day will make for a more frantic and nervy test, although you have to wonder whether the opening days of the Tour really need to be any more intense than they already are.
Audrey Cordon Ragot's view
This day will a day to breath a little bit after the first three stages. The peloton will need to be careful with the win and the echelons because there are a lot of open parts, but it mainly should be a good day for another bunch sprint.
If the team leaders decided to let a breakaway go, this could also be a good day for the opportunists, but it looks more likely that we will see a bunch sprint.
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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).
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