Arrival place Sarzeau makes its first appearance on the Tour de France. It is likely that the race will see a royal bunch sprint, as the last 4 kilometres are played out on a sheer endless straight, while the final 2 kilometres feature a number of false flat sections. Firstly 200 metres at 3%, then from 1.2 kilometres to 600 meter before the line a stretch at 2%, while the last 300 metres are false flat, too.
Is it a coincidence that Sarzeau is debuting in this year’s Tour? Not really. The new president of the UCI, David Lappartient, is the town’s mayor.
The departure place is not unfamiliar with la Grande Boucle, although its appearances were a while ago. In 1972, the 2nd stage arrived in La Baule with Rik Van Linden taking the win, while the race visited the town in 1988 also. That last visit was unofficial though, as La Grande Boucle started with prelude, which was a combination of an ITT and TTT and the recorded times were not used for the rest of the race. Yet, the fastest cyclist did wear the yellow jersey the next day. Guido Bontempi, currently sports director at Astana, took the credits.
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the first intermediate sprint (at kilometre 97.5) is for green jersey points and the second (at kilometre 156.5) for time bonuses of 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Tour de France 2018 stage 4: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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Profile 1st intermediate sprint
Details 1st intermediate sprint
Profile 2nd intermediate sprint
Details 2nd intermediate sprint