Avranches – Mont-Saint-Michel (ITT) 33 km
This stage will undoubtedly be one of the most beautiful segments of the Tour de France. The riders will start with the Monastery and Abbey in Mont-Saint-Michel to the west and will almost be able to see the finish line from where they start. The tidal island is connected to the mainland via a causeway. The area is the second most visited tourist attraction after the Eiffel Tower making it a spectacular stage for the first of two individual time trials.
Specialist sprinters will enjoy this first time trial as the roads are flat and straight. The second time trial is taking part in the Alps so could potentially be more of a struggle.
Again the weather is going to play a part in this stage, the roads are very open as the riders make there way into the final stages and if the wind picks up it could play a large roll.
This stage offers Chris Froome of Team Sky a good chance to gain some time on the field and if he could gain two minutes over the specialist climbers it would be extremely useful.
Nicolas Portal said: “It starts off rolling gently up and down, there are some quite fast descents and a few tight corners.
“In our recon the wind was strong and mostly a headwind on the flat section towards the end. This will suit the TT specialists, as it’ll be quite tough. I think it could be good for Froome.” (www.cyclingnews.com)