Tuesday, 5 July 2011

#TDF Stage 4 hitting Brittany's wall

The stage today goes from Lorient to Mûr-de-Bretagne (literally the wall of Brittany). The reason it is called the wall is because of the sharp climb up to the finish of today's stage. It is why today dispite a largely level profile this is unlikely to be a sprinters' finish, so don't expect to see Mark Cavendish making a sprint for the line.

However, the sprinters seem set to have their day at 92.5 km in the town of Spizét. After yesterday's disqualification from the sprint of both Mark Cavendish and Thor Hushovd I expect them to get right on with doing what they need to do, sprinting for points. Indeed if Hushovd does well enough here I'd expect him to be one of the riders picking up points at the finish (he isn't your normal sprinter).

This stage though comes on the birthday of Philippe Gilbert who won stage one so this might well be the sort of stage to once again suit him at tue end. I know it is not the Pyrenées yet, but maybe Alberto Contador might try and get some of the seconds back he has lost by launching a small attack on the climb. If he goes the other contenders will have to be attentive and near the front, something that Contador failed to do on Saturday.

Gilbert is a hot contender for the win today, Thor Husovd might well add the Green Jersey to the Yellow, or even if he loses it on the climb replace it.

However, the people by the roadside are going to have to go some way to beat the farmers of the last few days.

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