2014 Tour de France, Stage 5: Ypres – Arenberg Porte du Hainaut: 156km

Aug 4, 2010
ehm,ehm...Ladies and Gentlemen,so Lets Get Ready to Rrrrumble!!! /Michael Buffer Ltd. :))/
Here is the most anticipated and the most dangerous stage of Tour de France 2014.Riders will be sweating in their beds this night in order whats to come.Brutal stage for GC riders.You can lose there the whole one year of preparation in this region of northern France, and all of this because of the mighty cobbles.This is my first thread folks,no guarantee then,haha.



Intermediate sprint (+map):

As you can see from general profile, the intermediate sprint comes only about 6km before 2nd cobble secteur Ennevelin and after 1st secteur,so things might get a bit complicated here with sprinters still in the bunch.

Last 5km:

Last km are relatively flat,but the end of last cobble secteur (3star which terminates in Wallers) is distanced only 5,4 km before the finishing line!
Aug 4, 2010
Cobbled sectors details
Detailed map:


Sector 9 (Gruson au Carrefour de l'Arbre) 1100m **: This is the two star Gruson sector from P-R in reverse.

Sector 8 (Ennevelin à Pont Thibaut) 1400m ***: As the sector before, this is a sector from P-R in reverse.

Sector 7 (Mons-en-Pévèle) 1000m *** WON'T BE RACED - SUBMERGED: This one is done in the same direction as in P-R, but only the (easiest) first third of it! The same part of the sector was done in P-R '03 ('97, '00 and '02 too) where it was ranked with three stars.

Sector 6 (Bersée) 1400m ***: This is the harder second half of the four star sector Auchy-lez-Orchies à Bersée done in reverse. In 2007 and 2008 this part of the section was in too poor condition to be a part of P-R. The three stars categorisation is an estimate based on the full 2700m section being four stars and the easy first half, which they won't ride, being two stars.

Sector 5 (Orchies à Beuvry-la-Forêt) 1400m ***WON'T BE RACED - SUBMERGED: Reverse direction of P-R. 700m of old pave and 700m of new ('07).

Sector 4 (Sars-et-Rosières à Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes) 2400m ****: Long sector but in good condition and regularly maintained. As with most of the other sectors this too is in the reverse direction compared to P-R.

Sector 3 (Brillon à Warlaing) 1400m **: The full 2400m sector is three stars and with sunken sections in the part they avoid. Categorisation again is an estimate, but given the rest (of the part they'll ride) is in good condition, I think it's a two star sector. As others done in reverse.

Sector 2 (Wandignies-Hamage à Hornaing) 3700m ****: Very long sector with cobbles in good conditions. Reverse direction as the others.

Sector 1 (Hélesmes à Wallers) 1600m ***: Final sector and close to the finish. It has been out of Roubaix for some years, but returned recently after it was restored. Medium difficulty and again in opposite direction. Like I said earlier, only 5400 metres before the finish.

Comparison with 2010:
To compare this stage with P-R is nonsense, that’s why I decided to compare it with a bit similar stage from 2010. In that year it was the 3rd stage after famous neutralized stage to Spa. Altough that stage was 213 km long,that means more of a ‘classic’, this year’s stage has only 155,5 km. On the other hand in 2014 this stage has 15, 4 km raced on cobbles compared to just only 13, 3 km in 2010. (9 secteurs in 2014 vs 7 secteurs in 2010) .In addition to that in 2010 the first secteur (Orgmeignies) was only 350m and distance to 2nd secteur was 40km, so it wasn’t really important. This year there is a lot smaller distance between 1st secteur Gruson and 2nd Ennevelin which is 16km. The important feature is that 4 years ago last secteur (Haveluy) was 10km to the finish, this year last secteur Hélesmes a Vallers is only 7km to go, but is slightly easier (one star). Only two secteurs are featuring from 2010 – Secteur 4 (Sars-et-Rosieres) and Secteur 2 (Wandignies-Hamage).

Cobbles In Numbers - 2010 vs 2014
Last 50km 13km X 12,9km
Last 20km 6km X 6,7km
Avg sec. length 1900m X 1711m

Difficulty prediction vs 2010
In my opinon, this year stage is harder not only because there are 2 additional km on cobbles but also because of tension which the battle Sky vs Movistar vs Astana vs Tinkoff-Saxo creates.Then we have two riders Degenkolb+Sagan which are likely to win this stage in a small group sprint, and they will desperately want this win with King of sprints Kittel in the bunch. But we also have two (three) main attackers who cant rely on sprint – Cancellara, Van Marcke and Terpstra. Of course with those three there is a question how they will cope with their GC leaders. The main difference will be weather, which you will see in Weather Prediction part of my preview.
Aug 4, 2010
Weather prediction:
Gruson (1st secteur,69 km to the finish)

Porte du Hainaut (stage finish)
Radar:(precise prediction to 15.15,rainfall will go southern then)


GC before the stage:
1. NIBALI Vincenzo 41 ASTANA PRO TEAM 17h 07' 52''
2. SAGAN Peter 51 CANNONDALE + 00' 02''
3. ALBASINI Michael 182 ORICA GREENEDGE + 00' 02''
4. VAN AVERMAET Greg 148 BMC RACING TEAM + 00' 02''
5. CONTADOR Alberto 31 TINKOFF-SAXO + 00' 02''
6. VALVERDE Alejandro 11 MOVISTAR TEAM + 00' 02''
7. FROOME Christopher 1 TEAM SKY + 00' 02''
8. VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen 131 LOTTO-BELISOL + 00' 02''
9. MOLLEMA Bauke 61 BELKIN PRO CYCLING + 00' 02''
10. FUGLSANG Jakob 42 ASTANA PRO TEAM + 00' 02''
11. BARDET Romain 82 AG2R LA MONDIALE + 00' 02''
12. VAN GARDEREN Tejay 141 BMC RACING TEAM + 00' 02''
13. MACHADO Tiago 206 TEAM NETAPP-ENDURA + 00' 02''
14. PÉRAUD Jean-Chris 81 AG2R LA MONDIALE + 00' 02''
15. COSTA Rui Alberto 111 LAMPRE - MERIDA + 00' 02''

Car position:
1.Astana 2.Cannondale 3.Orica 4.BMC 5.Tinkoff-Saxo 6.Movistar 7.Sky 8.Lotto 9.Belkin 10.Ag2r 11.NetApp 12.Lampre 13.Trek 14.OPQS 15.Garmin 16.IAM 17.FDJ 18.Giant 19.Katusha 20.Cofidis 21.Bretagne 22.Europcar

*** Cancellara
** Van Marcke, Sagan, Degenkolb, Terpstra, Kristoff
* Demare, Chavanel, Haussler, Thomas, Boom, Langeveld, Roelandst, Van Avaermet

GC names conteders:
*** Kwiatkowski,Mollema,Van Garderen
** VDB,Valverde,Nibali,Talansky
* Froome,Contador,PSchleck
Outsiders: Rui Costa,Konig,Pinot Rolland
My opinion according to team strenght,goals,handling skills,cobble experience and car position

Overall stage previews:
No.1- They have avoided the most difficult cobbles, but with a total of 15.4km of cobbles, I'm sure it'll be absolute carnage. (via netserk)

No.2- Some crashes during the first cobblestone sectors, and if the last two sectors will make an impact on the course of the race (barring crashes, of course) I’ll be happy. If no crashes happen on the last two sectors, I expect a medium-sized group (a couple of dozens of riders) to contest the stage, with 'Cavendish/a sprinter' emerging victorious. (via rghysens)

No.3- Expect total war.GC teams,'stage' teams battling for positions before Gruson. Because between Secteur 9 and 8 there is a perfect chance even for echelons according to weather predictions as you can see in the 2nd weather-prediction picture and the more detailed map. From this secteur battle till the end,my first prediction was Sagan,but I think Cancellara will take it.With high chance of rain there is of course a chance for neutralizing whole stage,meh. (via my tired brain)

TV and other coverage here
Detailed previewhere

Special thanks to rghysens for preview,and esp netserk for cobble sectors preview.
Jul 19, 2010
i only have one hope. No GC contender crash or crash out. Everyone makes it safely to the finish line. For that I'll tune in as early as possible.
This thread creation process is more exciting to watch than stage 4 =)

The stage should be awesome, I really hope a few teams light it up. Maybe Belkin with Vanmarcke and Boom can lead Mollema into a good position, that would be great. There's a lot to be gained by many of the outside contenders for GC if they can attack well here.
Jan 3, 2011
Jelantik said:
i only have one hope. No GC contender crash or crash out. Everyone makes it safely to the finish line. For that I'll tune in as early as possible.

+1 I second that. But besides that I would love to see the cobbled classic riders battle it out.
Jan 3, 2011
And they are wet... It will be utter carnage. F*ck me I really hope we avoid any GC crashes

Sep 21, 2009
Am I the only one who thinks WTF didn't ASO put together in the same stage PR cobbles with RvV bergs?
Aug 16, 2011
Cimber said:
And they are wet... It will be utter carnage. F*ck me I really hope we avoid any GC crashes


Nice! :D

I have no idea what's going to happen. But I have no doubt it's going to be awesome. :D
Extremely dangerous especially for GC riders, I have no doubt it's going to be a very exciting stage (to watch at least, not to ride).

A good chance of gaining/losing time GC wise, luck can be a deciding factor.

Too messy to predict the winner.
Jun 9, 2014
glassmoon said:
gotta feeling that if it'll be raining the stage (or just part) will be neutralized :rolleyes:

See Cancellara's comments :"I've already been asked if I'll ask for the stage to be neutralised if it rains but this is different. I know that it’s not a nice stage for Froome, Contador, Nibali and even our GC riders. But my reply is: so why not take out the climbs to make it easier for us? That never happens, so it's only right we race on the cobbles. It’s a risk for everyone, including me, but we've got to live with it and calculate the risks involved."