2016 Tour de France, Stage 4: Saumur → Limoges (238km)

Aug 31, 2014
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Stage 4: Saumur → Limoges (237.5 km, Flat)

Tuesday, July 5thStage infoStartlistRoadbookRules • Weather: Start, Halfway, Finish
Starts at 11:30 - Live video from 14:15 - Finish at 17:20 (CEST) • Live tickerLivestreams


Route:



Profile:



Mountain passes & hills:
Km 182.0 - Côte de la Maison Neuve (D25-D7) 1.2 kilometre-long climb at 5.6% - category 4


Final Kilometres:




Preview:
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.
Current GC standings:



Withdrawals Stage 3:
None (!!!)
198 of 198 riders remain in the race.



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Jul 16, 2011
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Re:

Samamba said:
I think it's too hard for Cav, Kittel & Greipel cause the last 100k are pretty hard (not flat at all). More chance for Sagan, Matthews, GVA, EBH, Ala, Coquard, ...
I don't think it is too hard for Cav or Greipel, but I think it's too easy for Ala and GVA. The finish definitely suits Sagan, Matthews and Coquard. I'll go for Coquard.
 
The small ramp from 8 to 6 to go looks like a possible decisive point? Anyone have some more info on it. Estimating from the profile its 2 km at 5% average with a steep section at the start? That will be the undoing for some sprinters i think.
 
Re: Re:

Tank Engine said:
Samamba said:
I think it's too hard for Cav, Kittel & Greipel cause the last 100k are pretty hard (not flat at all). More chance for Sagan, Matthews, GVA, EBH, Ala, Coquard, ...
I don't think it is too hard for Cav or Greipel, but I think it's too easy for Ala and GVA. The finish definitely suits Sagan, Matthews and Coquard. I'll go for Coquard.
If the stage wasn't 240km & the last 100 km were totally flat, i would say Greipel & Cav ftw, but that isn't the case. I think you're right though about it being too easy for Ala & GVA.
 
Possibly a chance for the break here. Last 30km are mostly downhill and Tinkoff probably aren't going to do much work at the front, not sure Etixx will either. And if the teams mess about like they did on stage 2, playing poker and waiting for other teams to start working first, it might be too late to haul in a few strong riders.
 
Re:

DFA123 said:
Possibly a chance for the break here. Last 30km are mostly downhill and Tinkoff probably aren't going to do much work at the front, not sure Etixx will either. And if the teams mess about like they did on stage 2, playing poker and waiting for other teams to start working first, it might be too late to haul in a few strong riders.
No chance break wins this, not this early in proceedings and with so many uphill sprinters still hungry for stage wins. Although they did cut it really fine yesterday, admittedly.

Depending on the exact gradients of the finish, Etixx might want to try to get Alaphilippe in yellow rather than work for Kittel. Although granted it will be hard to dislodge Sagan regardless looking at that profile.
 
Re:

Alexandre B. said:
After 500m of flat road, the final 500m are uphill at around 5%.
Kittel is not pleased.
The 5% will effect him yes, the 2% of today really isn't the reason he didn't perform. That's just

The first stage showed he isn't in same form/condition as his best imo. There have been days that when Kittel went at the right time and imo he did since there was also a tailwind that he would only distance his rivals. He's not at that level currently.
 
Re: Re:

Orbit501 said:
DFA123 said:
Possibly a chance for the break here. Last 30km are mostly downhill and Tinkoff probably aren't going to do much work at the front, not sure Etixx will either. And if the teams mess about like they did on stage 2, playing poker and waiting for other teams to start working first, it might be too late to haul in a few strong riders.
No chance break wins this, not this early in proceedings and with so many uphill sprinters still hungry for stage wins. Although they did cut it really fine yesterday, admittedly.

Depending on the exact gradients of the finish, Etixx might want to try to get Alaphilippe in yellow rather than work for Kittel. Although granted it will be hard to dislodge Sagan regardless looking at that profile.
I just think there is a chance that the sprinter's teams could mis-time the chase with the mostly downhill finish to the stage. Particularly if the MJ team isn't working, and the team they usually rely on - Etixx - isn't interested. Can't see why Etixx would work for Alaphilippe. He could potentially do well on the stage, but he's certainly not favourite, and it is more likely that Sagan would extend his lead if anything. Stage 5, however, I'm sure they will have pencilled in to take the MJ.
 
Re:

DFA123 said:
Possibly a chance for the break here. Last 30km are mostly downhill and Tinkoff probably aren't going to do much work at the front, not sure Etixx will either. And if the teams mess about like they did on stage 2, playing poker and waiting for other teams to start working first, it might be too late to haul in a few strong riders.

Lefevre said on belgian radio that tomorrows stage needs to be better so they'll drill it but maybe not with Kittel but Richeze or Ala?
 

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