2023 Tour de France Stage 7 Preview

Mont-de-Marsan > Bordeaux 170km

After two days of carnage, everyone gets the chance to have a little rest as it should be a relatively straightforward sprint stage. There’s a bit of wind around, which means it won’t be without stress, but this should end in another big sprint.


Very warm, temperatures will hit 36 degrees. The wind will come from the south-east and will be under 20km/h. There could be gusts up to 30kmh, which would get the GC teams interested in echelons, but the potential sections are not long enough to cause carnage. 


This finish has a couple of challenges, fingers crossed it turns out to be much safer than Tuesday’s racetrack finish. With 3.6km to go, there’s right hand turn, which is quickly followed by another, this one is greater than 90 degrees, it comes with 3.2km to go. The bunch then hit a highway which they use to go over the river, then comes a tight right-hand bend with 2.2km to go, which is quickly followed by a left and another right. This brings the riders onto the finishing straight, which is 1.8km long. Just before the flamme rouge, they dip down and go through an underpass. The finish is 6m wide.


We’ll have to wait and see if anyone wants to try and cause echelons, this is the only section where it could be possible, it starts at km 122 and lasts 22km. For splits to happen, the wind needs to be stronger than predicted.

I think we’ll end up seeing a standard sprint stage. The first two have been chaotic, which is what we are used to seeing in the Tour de France, but they normally calm down as the race goes on. As Jakobsen looks sore from his crash, I’m not sure if Soudal – Quick Step will be getting involved in this one, one less team fighting to get to the front wouldn’t be a bad thing. 

The sprint teams will start the fight with around 20km to go, but it’s all about the final 5km. The technical section is from 4km-2km to go, a good position here is very important, but a long finishing straight does mean teams can afford to sit back a little and surge to the front. Whatever happens, I hope it’s a finish without crashes, we’ve seen enough of them.


Jasper Philipsen – two stage wins already; can he take a third? His sprint train is the best in the race, even though van der Poel nearly blows his legs off before he launches his sprint. It’s been a while since we’ve had one sprinter dominate the race, but Philipsen can win many more stages over the next two weeks. He comes here with confidence, but these sprints always require luck, and that’s not something you can always rely on getting. He starts as the big favourite, it’s up to the rest to try and beat him.

Caleb Ewan – he’s been the best of the rest in the two sprints, very close to winning on Tuesday. Lotto have done well in keeping Ewan at the head of the race in the final 5km, but without Guarnieri, they could find it harder to do so, especially as De Buyst is recovering from his own crash. If they are worried about being swamped, Caleb could sit on the wheel of someone like Philipsen and try to use him as a final lead out man. 

Dylan Groenewegen – only having a couple of riders to help prepare the sprint isn’t working out very well for the Dutch sprinter. They’ve not carried much luck in the first two sprints, but they know that if they get him in a good position, he’s got the speed required to take the win. 

Phil Bauhaus – he’s done much better than I thought he would do in the first two stages, 2nd and 3rd has been an excellent return for the German. He’s got Wright, Mohorič and Arndt working for him, all three of them have been doing an amazing job. Bauhaus likes a technical sprint; this one isn’t as good a fit compared to the first two sprints. 

Mark Cavendish – 6th and 5th so far, he’s edging closer to his big win. Despite not having a recognised lead out, Astana are doing a nice job at getting Cav in a good spot for the sprints. If he continues to get in the right place, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him getting the win most of us what him to get by the end of the race. 

Mads Pedersen – in terms of his sprint train, Tuesday was much better, but he didn’t have the legs. He’ll keep plugging away, he knows he’s got the speed to challenge for the win, if everything clicks.

Alexander Kristoff – as the race goes on, he’ll get stronger as others begin to go the other way. I think he’ll be challenging for the top 5 in this stage.

Sam Welsford – we’ve not seen him having a crack yet, but after two mountain stages, I’m not sure how good he’ll be in this stage. Remember, this isn’t just his first grand tour, it’s his first mountainous stage race. He’s sure to be suffering a bit, hopefully he’s still got enough in the legs to challenge in this stage.

Wout Van Aert – I keep saying he won’t sprint, and he sprints, the cheek of it. Now, after two big days out in breakaways, it’s time for Wout to put his feet up and have a rest. Remember, he’s also got his eyes on the Worlds, he can’t go deep in every stage.

Fabio Jakobsen – battered and bruised, I can’t see him challenging tomorrow.

Prediction Time

After knocking on the door a few times, I think it will open for him this time.

Embed from Getty Images

A win for Caleb Ewan.