La Grande Boucle’s 4th stage is played out in the south of Brittany. The gently undulating course leads to a 4 kilometres finishing straight, while the last 1.5 kilometres are a false flat. So it’s important not to go too soon in the sprint if you prefer to avoid the risk of running out of steam.
Pocketing five victories, Marcel Kittel was the best fast finisher in last year’s Tour de France, while Dylan Groenewegen and Arnaud Démare both netted one sprint. Of these three, the Frenchman is best suited for this kind of arrival, as are other strong uphill sprinters such Peter Sagan, Fernando Gaviria and Michael Matthews.
Kittel’s move to Katusha started to pay off quite late this season. But the German landed his first two victories in the Tirreno-Adriatico. Young Groenewegen seems to be a new big name though, the Dutchman won stages in the Dubai Tour, Volta ao Algarve, Paris-Nice, and pocketed his first Classic, Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, while Kristoff powered to wins in the Tour of Oman and Adu Dhabi Tour before he added Eschborn-Frankfurt 2018 to his palmares. Both Gaviria’s and Greipel’s season has been plagued by setback, although they are not empty ended as they won early races – Gaviria in Latin America and Greipel at the Tour Down Under. Ewan also won a stage in his home race as well as on the Clasica de Alméria. Arnaud Démare sprinted to the win in Paris-Nice’s 1st stage on an uphill cobbled arrival.
Peter Sagan has got three 2018 victories under his belt, two of them sprints – Gent-Wevelgem and a stage on the Tour Down Under. Of course, the World Champion also netted Paris-Roubaix after a long-range attack.
Favourites 4th stage 2018 Tour de France
*** Fernando Gaviria, Peter Sagan, Arnaud Démare, Michael Matthews
** Dylan Groenewegen, André Greipel, Nacer Bouhanni, Sonny Colbrelli
* Alexander Kristoff, Caleb Ewan, Marcel Kittel, Mark Cavendish
Tour de France 2018 stage 4: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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