The Spin: Stage 7

Stage 7

Famous for its 24 hour motor race, the start town of Le Mans will have hosted the race for no more than 18 hours before the riders head off to Châteauroux, a town famous for nothing.

The stage crosses flat  terrain, if you think France as the land of baguettes and croissants, this is where the flour comes from, with fields of cereal as fare as the eye can see. The race also passes through the Loire valley, home of many impressive châteaux and vineyards. But I have to describe the landscape as there’s not much to say about the stage.

Stage 7 intermediate sprint

Note the intermediate sprint is very late in the day, just 25.5km from the finish. The map above shows the run into Buzançais and the sharp left hander at 500m to go and then the last bend is more a sweeping curve the sprint point. It’s slightly uphill too.

Stage 7 final 5km map

The last five kilometres are standard sprinting fare with rounabouts, road narrowings and two 90° bends. Tricky but the roads are wide most of the time and the last two bends are very wide. The race has been here in 2008. In fact it’s here where Mark Cavendish won his first ever stage in the Tour de France and many will be surprise if history does not repeat itself.

Weather: milder weather is back, it’ll be mostly dry and 22°C (71°F) but cooler if rain does appear. A light crosswind is expected but despite the flat exposed terrain, it doesn’t look strong enough to create any havoc, especially because it becomes a headwind towards the finish, just to ensure any breakaway’s chances of success are even slimmer.

14 thoughts on “The Spin: Stage 7”

  1. Off topic but relevent as Klöden has restarted the German Media debate with his recent Twats. I stated that for the average Joe, or in this case Sep, that the ARD’s exclusion of cycling from their lineup had little actual effect as every race is covered on Eurosport. I just compared Eurosport UK and Eurosport DE. Sadly the DE lineup is losing out to womens füssball for the evening broadcast at the moment. That the UCI is doing nothing to fight this is mindboggling. Possibly Garmin, the nemesis of the UCI, holding the Yellow will warm the icy Germans? More than an equally icy Klöden in any case.

  2. Should be a day for Cavendish. If not Farrar or Husvold might be contenders. Farrar is on form and Husvold would like a sprint stage win plus the points for the Green jersey.

  3. Er Eurosport UK has been loosing out to women’s and juniors football as well I think we’ve had two 7pm startish highlights show this week. In comparison ITV4 is doing a 7pm show every night I think, sadly it’s pretty unwatchable as you have to deal with Ligget and Sherwen…

  4. By this year’s standards for the TdF week one, it looks remarkably like a sprinters stage without any catches. There must be several sprinters who fancy this one.

  5. Be really nice to see a Farrar / Cavendish head-to-head at least once this Tour. And could Rojas really capture the Green? He really has been the most consistent so far…

  6. If anyone understands French then the French coverage is absolutely superb. Eurosport has nothing to offer in reply. If I use the Eurosport coverage I turn the sound off.

  7. do you guys think the candidates for stage victory will also try themselves in the intermediate sprint?
    or are 2 sprints so close together to much?

  8. I strongly dislike the new-style intermediate sprints.

    Winning bike races is all that matters and the green jersey should go to the most consistent finisher, not some silly 15-deep sprint that takes focus away from what’s important.

    Go back to the 3x(3-2-1).

  9. This is a ridiculously boring stage. HTC won’t even need to really fight to get their bunch sprint. The Tour is losing millions of viewers (and euros) by programming such a flat bore. If ASO know what’s best for them, this kind of stages are doomed.

    And by the way, does anyone know why FDJ, Euskaltel, ans Saur (and others) are not sending more riders into the breakaway?? Maybe with 15 riders, the breakaway could succeed. Or, at least, we could enjoy a decent chase with some degree of uncertainty..

  10. Bundle-

    As far as Euskatel, I assume they aren’t putting anyone in the break because they’re waiting until the mountains. I don’t know enough about FDJ and Saur. Watching on TV we miss out on the first hour of the race when the attacks are furious and the break is actually formed. I can’t imagine the peloton cares about Saur, so maybe they’re not trying. Too bad, Skil Shimano was fun to watch last year. They were really aggressive.

  11. Well, in the end, and being sorry for Wiggo, Roman, Rigo, and the old-timer Radio-Gagas, it was an entertaining last 25 kms.

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