Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Stage 5 Preview

Tomorrow the sprinters will have another opportunity to show what they can do as the peloton races 164.5km from Carhaix to Cap Fréhel. With Cavendish denied twice on Stage 3 he will be looking to make the most of this opportunity.

Better known for its Festival des Vieilles Charrues music festival, Carhaix is one 15 new stage towns at the 2011 Tour, along with Cap Fréhel where the stage ends. Despite their début status neither town is a stranger to cycling; Carhaix has been preparing for the Tour by hosting stages of the Kreiz Breizh Elite on several occasions as well as the Paris-Brest-Paris, while Cap Fréhel honoured women by hosting a stage of the Women’s Tour of Brittany in 2005.

At the Tour talking about the weather is never merely idle chit chat: tomorrow everyone will be keeping an eye on it. The sprinters teams will bear the brunt of the workload while the real GC contenders will be looking to stay safe as everyone watches out for echelons being formed as the bunch are buffeted by winds, particularly in the final 70km as they head along the coast. With everyone on their guard it should be a textbook team effort that brings a sprinter to take the stage but this is the Tour de France and nothing here is ever certain so there may be one or two surprises along the way.

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