Stage 7 is not a sprinters' stage. Firstly, it's very long (234.5km) and it would be a huge task for a team to keep the race under control like Giant-Shimano has done in all the previous flat stages. Secondly, the finale is too hard for pure sprinters like Marcel Kittel. Giant-Shimano would have been keen to just switch roles between Kittel and John Degenkolb who has the characteristics for winning in Nancy, but the Gent-Wevelgem winner got a muscle thorn in a crash during stage 5, so he's pretty much out of contention for a victory. Two hills precede the finale in Nancy, which makes it suitable for Peter Sagan but the Slovakian has lost some confidence in himself after crashing twice in the past two stages. Another serious candidate would be Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner Simon Gerrans but he also looks to still suffer from Mark Cavendish's aggression in Harrogate. In overall, it leaves hopes for a breakaway to succeed and why not a new race leader in the capital of Lorraine.
Anybody is keen to chase?
Sporting stakes11.07.2014Stage 7- Épernay / Nancy
Matteo Trentin of Omega Pharma-Quick Step scored his second stage win at the Tour de France one year after taking the laurels in Lyon. He passed Peter Sagan in extremis on the line in Nancy. The green jersey wearer had done everything he could before with putting his Cannondale team at the front of the peloton all day. He attacked in the last climb and sprinted in a crash marred finale but had to accept another defeat.
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Will the three stages in the Vosges determine the overall winner?
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