- Aug 31, 2014
Tuesday, July 5th • Stage info • Startlist • Roadbook • Rules • Weather: Start, Halfway, Finish
Starts at 11:30 - Live video from 14:15 - Finish at 17:20 (CEST) • Live ticker • Livestreams
Mountain passes & hills:
Km 182.0 - Côte de la Maison Neuve (D25-D7) 1.2 kilometre-long climb at 5.6% - category 4
Current GC standings:CyclingQuotes.com said:In recent years, the organizers have shortened the stage significantly and nowadays there aren’t many Tour de France stages of more than 200km. Hence, it’s a rare exception to find two pretty long stages in a row but that’s what the riders will face in the first week of this year’s race. Having started in the far north, the riders have a long way to travel to get to the mountains and that is reflected in the distances in the first week. One day after the second longest stage, the riders will face the longest route of this year’s race on stage 4 where the sprinters again hope to flex their muscles on an almost completely flat course. However, the stage has a small sting in its tail as an uphill finish could suit the stronger sprinters more than the really fast guys.
The 237.5km stage will continue the long southeasterly journey towards the mountains as it brings the riders from Saumur to Limoges. The first 150km are very straightforward as they are completely flat and barely includes a single change of direction. Then the road starts to rise very slightly, culminating with the category 4 climb of Cot de la Maison Neuve (1.2km, 5.6%) at the 182km mark. Twelve kilometres earlier the riders will contest the intermediate sprint which is slightly uphill as the final kilometre averages 1.2%.
After the KOM sprint, the road continues to rise for a little while as they riders get to the highest point of the stage at the 210km. From there, the final 27.5km are mainly slightly descending.
In the finale, the riders will deviate slightly from the direct route to approach Limoges from a northeasterly direction. Unlike in the previous stage, they won’t face any major technical challenges in the city. They will pass straight through two roundabouts before they get to the 3km to go mark. Then there are a few sweeping bends, the final one coming with 1.3km to go. From there, it is a straight, 6.5m wide road.
While there aren’t any technical challenges, the sprint could still offer a few surprises for the fast guys. There’s a small climb with 8km to go and then the road is slightly descending until the riders get to the flamme rouge. After 500m of flat road, the final 500m are uphill at around 5%.
The number of sprint stages is clearly reflected in the line-ups for this year’s Tour de France and at this point of the race, they are all motivated and fresh. Hence, this should be another straightforward day for the fast riders and it will give little incentive for riders to go on the attack. The wind can again play a role and so it can potentially be a dangerous and nervous day for the GC riders. Otherwise it should be firmly controlled by the sprint teams but the uphill finale may change the outcome compared to the previous stages. Riders like Peter Sagan, John Degenkolb, Michael Matthews and Alexander Kristoff will fancy their chances in a finale that is more about power than pure speed and so hope to get the better of the likes of Marcel Kittel, André Greipel and Mark Cavendish who are likely to have dominated the first sprint stages.
Limoges always hosts the final stage of the Tour du Limousin. Maurits Lammertink, Manuel Belletti, Stephane Rossetto, Jermt Roy, Matthieu Ladagnous, Davide Appollonio, Romain Feillu, Benoit Vaugrenard, Aliaksandr Usau and Sebastien Hinault are the latest winners in the city where current riders Bernhard Eisel and Pierrick Fedrigo also have won stages in the past. The city last hosted a Tour de France stage in 200 when Christophe Agnolutto held off the peloton to take a solo win. It was visited by Paris-Nice in 2010 and 2007 when William Bonnet and Franco Pellizotti emerged as the winners.
Withdrawals Stage 3:
198 of 198 riders remain in the race.
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