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Tour de France 2022 - Stage 4 preview

Stage 4: Dunkerque to Calais

Date: July 5, 2022

Distance: 172km 

Stage timing: 13:15 - 17:15 CEST

Stage type: Hilly

After a rest day and a transfer to Northern France, the Tour is back in its home country for stage 4. Though starting and finishing on the North Sea coast, the stage from Dunkerque to Calais mainly takes place inland. Six classified climbs will give the breakaway something to fight for and could see the polka-dot jersey change hands at the end of the day.

There is an air of the spring classics about the first part of the route as it takes place in French Flanders and the first climb, the Côte de Cassel, is cobbled; the other climbs are on asphalt roads. With 24km to go, the race reaches the Côte d’Opale on the Channel coast where the Côte de Cap Blanc-Nez is the final difficulty on the way to Calais, cresting with 10.8km to go.

The prevailing southwesterly winds would mean a tailwind to the finish which might help the breakaway, but a slight change in wind direction could bring tail-crosswinds that would wreak havoc in the peloton. Despite all that, another big sprint is the most likely outcome.

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