The seventh stage of the Tour de France is 190.5kms from Livarot to Fougères, and this is a stage that should suit the sprinters. It’s predominantly flat, with just a category 4 climb of the Cote de Canapville to be negotiated shortly after the start.
Chris Froome (Team Sky) goes back into the race leader’s position, following the withdrawal of previous yellow jersey wearer Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick Step). The German crashed in the last kilometre of yesterday’s stage, breaking his collarbone. Froome will probably continue to hold onto yellow but it would be preferable for Team Sky if ownership of the yellow jersey went to somebody else at this early stage of the race.
Today’s stage goes through one of the hotbeds of French cycling, whereby the Mayenne province is home to the Madiot brothers and Jacky Durand, amongst others. Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick Step) will be looking to stop the dominance of Andre Greipel in today’s stage, and others to look out for include Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), Bryan Coquard (Europcar) and Arnaud Démare (FDJ). It will be the last opportunity for the sprinters to take a stage win for a week, whereby their next chance will be the stage to Rodez.