Date: Friday, July 6
The sprinters had a testing first few days, but now come the rewards for their tolerance and patience: a third stage in succession that seems almost certain to end with a bunch gallop.
The single classified climb, the fourth-category Côte de Buxières after 145km, should do no damage, and the sprinters’ teams will be starting to think about getting organised over the next 20-30 kilometres, and reeling in the inevitable break.
Prudhomme thinks it might be a day for the break to survive – perhaps that will depend on how confident teams are in their sprinters.
Tour de France 2012: Coverage index