After a day of rest the riders tackle the 197km from Saint-Gildas-des-Bois to Saint-Malo.As you ferry goers will now,that means we have moved from the South to the North of France.They will be delighted that we have cooler temperatures,23 degrees,but worried that we have 15mph winds from the North-West.Yes,that means we have another stage will crosswinds.In stage 6,the prospect of a crosswind made the whole peloton very nervous and brought about a number of crashes.Team Sky had better be on their toes!
As you can see from the profile,we have 1 categorised climb,the Cote de Dinan,which is 1km at 4.2%,but a relatively flat and easy day in the saddle.The biggest problem is the last 25km is along the sea front and gaps could happen!
There are 2 possible ways the stage could go.The first option is that the sprinters teams let a small break go and they control the race and bring it back for a sprint but after 2 extremely hard days in the mountains,a long transfer and a rest day it could be perfect for a break that doesn’t come back.Stages 12 and 13 are also perfect for the sprinters so they might let this one go.
Lotto are a clever team and it will be interesting to see if they send one of their hard men into the break.If they send Lars Bak up the road,it’ll mean an easy day for them and force Cavendish into using up some of the OPQS riders.
The other thing to watch is Team Sky.Having lost a rider and been put through the ringer on stage 9 they might decide to let the yellow jersey go.They have a number of flat stages this week,so it might make sense to let a rider take yellow and they can take a breather for a few days,before heading into the Alps.
That being said the finish is very long and very straight,similar to the finish in Montpellier.
I think I break could just stay away but if it doesn’t expect a big battle between Cavendish,Greipel,Kittel and Sagan.All these riders have won 1 stage and it’ll be very interesting to see who can inch ahead.Take a look at my post “How To Beat Cavendish” as Greipel has to follow it perfectly to win again.
If a break,watch out for strong men like Flecha,Westra or even Voeckler!
Prediction time ….
It’s most likely that a sprint will happen.Peter Sagan has been improving in every sprint and I fancy him to take a flat sprint this Tour.His lead-out train won’t deliver him 2nd wheel,so he’ll have to latch onto the wheel of Greipel and hope that someone forces Greipel to go a bit early,and then Sagan can take him on the line.
- Tour de France – The Battle For Green (cyclingmole.com)