Tuesday July 8th, 2014

Stage 4Le Touquet-Paris-Plage / Lille Métropole

Start 13h55 (Local time)

Fearing the cobbles

The of the town08.07.2014Stage 4- Le Touquet-Paris-Plage / Lille Métropole

They were a concern long before the Grand Depart, but on the eve of stage 5, the cobbles between Ypres and Arenberg were again the talk of the Village Depart on Tuesday...

They were a concern long before the Grand Depart, but on the eve of stage 5, the cobbles between Ypres and Arenberg were again the talk of the Village Depart on Tuesday, especially as rain is forecast.
Among the arch-favourites for stage win is of course Fabian Cancellara, the three-times Paris-Roubaix winner, who insisted he had not come on the Tour "only for stage 5" but who should be eager for victory after unsuccessful attempts across the Channel. However his Trek team will have to watch the Schleck bothers closely for Andy crashed heavily in the streets of London while Frank was forced out of a similar stage in 2010.
The GC favourites prepared the race carefully enough not to be too stressed and Saxo Tinkoff sports director Philippe Mauduit made it clear Alberto Contador was relaxed before the cobbled stage.
"I cannot even say that the rain will be an issue on the cobbles for Alberto rides pretty well on them. He is technically comfortable. But in spite of the work we have done on this stage, you can never be sure. You can always crash, suffer a mechanical but were confident."
Niki Terpstra, the reigning Paris-Roubaix champion, is another rider looking forward to the "paves" even though he insists the stage cannot be compared to the Queen of Classics "with only nine cobbled sectors". Another rider to watch out for could be Greg Van Avermaet, out for revenge after his second place behind Vincenzo Nibali in Sheffield and whose BMC team director Yvon Ledanois says he counts on him on the cobbles.

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Stage 4 Le Touquet-Paris-Plage / Lille Métropole

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Will the three stages in the Vosges determine the overall winner?

  • Yes, they’ll confirm Nibali’s domination9.61%
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