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The peloton are on for the longest stage of the 2018 Tour de France tonight, for stage 7. Join The Roar for live coverage from 10:30pm (AEST).
The 231km journey from Fougères to Chartres looks like another bunch-sprint finish, as the Tour concludes its first week of racing.
However, owing to its length and the torrid racing that has preceded it, the peloton may be content to have a day off and let a break escape to the finish.
Departing from Fougères, the peloton has a long, flat approach before encountering the first rise in the road after 120km – the Category 4 climb Cote du Buisson de Perseigne.
At 1.5km and averaging a gentle 3.9 per cent, this climb will break up the monotony of the early racing. Today’s sprint point comes after 168kms, 63km from the finish.
The approach to the finish is flat and slightly exposed, which may cause splits if wind is present and GC teams are motivated to test each other’s strength.
The finish lends itself to a bunch sprint if the peloton stays together. Alternatively, a small bunch-kick from a breakaway would not surprise on such a lengthy stage.
If the peloton stays together another showdown between Sagan, Gaviria, and Greipel awaits. However breakaway specialists would have had this stage circled as a great opportunity for a successful escape and a chance at a rare stage win.
This seems like a textbook breakaway day owing to the stages length and the hard racing that lies ahead over the weekend.
If a breakaway is successful, look for the French registered and wildcard teams to be well represented, with a winner impossible to predict. If the peloton stays intact, Fernando Gaviria should take his third stage win of the 2018 Tour.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of Stage 7 at the 2018 Tour de France from 10:30pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.