Today’s fourth stage of the Tour de France sees the race move onto French soil for the first time, as the riders race from Seraing to Cambrai. It’s been an action-packed race so far, and tomorrow should be no exception as the riders will have to contend with seven sections of pavé.
The stage is a mini Paris-Roubaix and the Tour had a similar stage last year, when Vincenzo Nibali surprised many with his strength and skill on the cobbles. In total, there are 13.3 kilometres of cobbles, but they’re supposedly harder in one way than those at Paris-Roubaix, as a number of sectors incorporate slight uphills.
In last year’s similar stage, Chris Froome (Team Sky) crashed out, while Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) rode well, but still lost time to Nibali. The Italian will be hoping for a similar result today so as to claw back some of the time he lost on the second stage. What stands in Froome’s favour is that he can count on Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard and Luke Rowe to help him.
It’s always difficult to predict what way a stage like this will pan out, as crashes and mechanicals are a lot more likely than normal, but it’s definitely going to be interesting.