Live: 2012 Tour de France – Stage 4 – Abbeville to Rouen
Tour de France 2012 (Poster by Chungkong)
Join us later tonight for live coverage of Stage 4 of the 2012 Tour de France. The 215-kilometer stage stretches from Abbeville to Rouen. Live coverage begins at 8:30 AEST.
After a crash-filled, action-packed stage yesterday, what can we expect this evening?
For more than half the distance, the route runs along the French shores, before turning inland toward Rouen. This is another stage that can be classified as lumpy, but it should not be as taxing on the sprinters, who were spit out the back on stage 3.
The stage comprises four categorised climbs, all category four. But with the last climb coming 72km from the finish, the stage is likely to end in a second bunch sprint of this tour.
The winds near the shore may prove decisive and there may be a risk of the peloton splitting. The top GC contenders and anyone who wants to be in the race at the finish (the sprinters), will have to be vigilant and stay near the front of the peloton.
As I mentioned above, the finish of this race favours the pure sprinters. I would look for GreenEDGE to build a train for Matt Goss, and Lotto-Belisol to do the same for Andre Greipel, while Cavendish will have to once again freelance if he hopes to get his 22nd career tour win.
The 4th of July (independence day in the U.S.) may mean Tyler Farrar will for it – as he did successfully last year – but given his current form, I just don’t see him competing with the likes of Cavendish, Greipel or Goss; or even Sagan for that matter, whom I would never count out of contention.
In stage 2, Sagan showed us he knows how to follow wheels and get himself to the finish with the top sprinters, but he’ll need to do a bit better if he’s to take the win from Cav, Greipel or Goss at their game.
There’s also a chance that due to the rolling terrain, an attack may go late into the stage from someone like Gilbert or Chavanel, who gave it a go on stage 3.
Normally, Cancellara would also be a favourite on a stage like today, but because he only has to defend, I would look for him to play it conservatively and likely keep the yellow jersey into stage 5.
I’m going to call this one for Matt Goss and hope that GreenEDGE can build a proper train to get him to the line ahead of Cav and Greipel.
Passionate about your cycling? Then sign up to The Roar's brand new daily cycling email, delivering Roaring articles directly to you day-in, day-out. You'll love it!
Click here to join now!
Looking to join The Roar team? We're searching for an experienced Group Sales Manager to lead our team in Sydney. Yes, this does mean you get to work with the site all day long! If you're a digital media sales star, we want to hear from you. Apply now.