Épernay to Nancy (234.5km)
Friday, July 11th 5:55 a.m. – 11:07 a.m. EDT
This is a very complicated stage to deal with, and not only because it is 234.5km long. There are two big hills toward the finish, one of which, the Côte de Boufflers, is located just five kilometers from the finish and features sections at 8 percent gradient. This being the case, will the sprinters’ teams take control of the race and run the risk of seeing their leader dropped on those final steep ramps? It’s important to remember there are still two weeks remaining — some teams will be keen on preserving their resources. This should be quite a tactical stage, punctuated by a breathless finale. It is likely that the peloton won’t arrive intact in Nancy.