Tour de France 2014 Favourites stage 4: Sprint battle on French roads
Tuesday, July 8th, 2014: The road from La Touquet to Lille contains 2 category 4 climbs early on but this should still be one for the sprinters. Wind may be a factor and the chasing of any breakaway will need to be precise but with so many sprinter's teams present, it's hard to see them mis-calculating. (Slideshow route/profile)
The first shots have been fired in England and already one man is down: Cavendish. So only two men stand out as big favourites and that’s Kittel and Greipel.
The advantage at the moment is in Kittel’s corner. He was the man who put a stop to Cavendish’s dominance in the 2013 Tour and has started 2014 in similar form and opened the Tour de France with a victory. Not to be left out, Greipel has been equally impressive, dominating sprints in every race he enters.
Crosswinds warning – this is the north of France, we all remember stage 13 from last year’s Tour where Cavendish broke away with the help of his teammates as well as some GC teams like Saxo and Belkin. The ‘big 3’ all ride for Belgian and Dutch teams, masters of cross-winds, so it would be highly embarrassing for anyone to miss a split.
Danny van Poppel
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