- Aug 31, 2014
Monday, July 4th • Stage info • Startlist • Roadbook • Rules • Weather: Start, Halfway, Finish
Starts at 11:55 - Live video from 14:15 - Finish at 17:20 (CEST) • Live ticker • Livestreams
Mountain passes & hills:
Km 25.5 - Côte de Villedieu-les-Poêles 1.5 kilometre-long climb at 4.4% - category 4
Current GC standings:CyclingQuotes.com said:Stage 2 will have taken the sprinters out of contention for the yellow jersey but the fast riders will get an immediate chance to strike back and sprint for another stage win on the third day. Stage 3 will be the second-longest stage of the Tour but only the distance will challenge the riders as there’s only a single categorized climb on the menu. The mountains arrive early in this year’s so the sprinters have to make the most of their opportunities in the first week and so they will be keen not to miss out on this.
At 223.5km, the stage from Granville to Angers is one of only stages with a length of more than 200km. It consists of a long southerly run as the riders start the traditional journey from the northern part of the country to the mountains in the south. The first part is a bit lumpy and includes the category 3 Cote de Villedieu-les-Poeles (1.5km, 4.4%) at the 25.5km mark. Then the terrain gets significantly flatter and the final 150km barely has even the smallest climbs.
The highlight will be the intermediate sprint in Bouillé-Ménard after 171km of racing. It’s pretty straightforward as it comes at the end of a long, straight road. The final kilometre is slightly uphill at 1.3%.
In the last part, the riders will head in a southeasterly direction to Angers where a technical finale awaits the riders. After two roundabouts, the riders will take a sharp turn with 3800m to go. There’s another turn 1800m from the finish and then a straight road leads the final 90-degree right-hand turn which comes just 300m from the line and leads onto the 7m wide finishing straight. A small descent leads to the flamme rouge and the final kilometre is uphill at 2.5%.
Unlike last year, there are plenty of opportunities for the sprinters in this year’s Tour and the first week looks like a bit of a sprint festival as it has so often been. This stage may be a long one but at this early point in the race, it is very hard to deny the fresh sprint and motivated sprint teams. With just a single climb on the menu, there’s no real incentive to go on the attack so this should be a straightforward and very controlled sprint stage. Of course the wind can play a role and as usual the finale will be very stressful and nervous but there is no doubt that the fast men will battle it out for the win in what will be a very tricky uphill sprint with a late turn that will make it all about having a great train to bring the sprinter into a good position.
Angers is known from the Cirucit Cycliste Sarthe where it hosts a morning sprint stage and an afternoon time trial every year. In 2015, Bryan Coquard and Anton Vorobyev were the winners, in 2014 Anthony Roux and Adriano Malori came out on top, in 2013 Jonas Ahlstrand and Alex Dowsett were the best while Nacer Bouhanni and Luke Durbridge were the strongest in 2012. Michel Kreder and Durbridge had the upper hand in 2011 and Kreder and Daniele Bennati took the wins in 2010. Among the current professionals, Tiago Machado, Samuel Dumoulin and Sylvain Chavanel have also won stages in Angers.
The city last hosted a stage of the Tour de France in 2004 when Tom Boonen beat Stuart O’Grady and Erik Zabel in a bunch sprint.
Abandons Stage 2:
198 of 198 riders remain in the race.
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