Date: Monday, July 2
With only one category-four climb at 82.5km, this is a stage with ‘sprinter’ written all over it. And although it takes the peloton close to Paris-Roubaix country – Roubaix sits across the border, 20km from the finish town of Tournai – it is not a stage characterised by pavé.
Instead it starts east of Brussels, skirts around the south of Belgium’s capital city, and heads west, into the cycling heartland of Flanders to finish in Tournai.
It was here that Wouter Weylandt enjoyed his final victory, at the 2010 Circuit Franco-Belge, before his tragic death at the 2011 Giro d’Italia, and the Tour has hinted that his life will be commemorated at the finish.
Tour de France 2012: Coverage index