Not native French but I've been here since I was a kid (I'm English).
And yeah, I know French towns/roads/cities like the back of my hand & the Tour has (IMO) been on a sort of scenic detour for a few years now onto rural country roads which are not ideal for a peloton riding full speed into a sprint finish.
It could be for xyz reasons (economic, political or maybe just Prudhomme's obsession with finding road novelty where none is needed), but yesterday I knew that would end badly for a whole bunch of riders when the Eurosport commentators were talking about the turn onto narrow twisty roads for the final 18km.
I mean who the hell thinks that's a good idea with 180 riders jostling for position? Today's stage 4 could end the same way today looking at that profile (i.e. GC guys thrown into a crash lottery). As a spectator & cycling fan, I'm just sitting there waiting for the inevitable. IMO road planning needs to seriously take into consideration the nature of the stage, i.e. sprints = bunched peloton for final = speed = danger.
This country has loads & loads of wide roads (& straight boulevards in major cities). Ergo if it's a sprint stage, send the peloton onto the appropriate terrain.
I'm even thinking if these guys weren't wearing helmets, there's no way the ASO would create the stage profiles we're seeing.
I don't know how Ewan wasn't Horner's target for bonehead of the day. Multiple stage wins on offer and instead he gets greedy and takes himself out at the first opportunity trying to do I'm not sure what.