Today is Bastille Day at the 2018 Tour de France. France’s national day presents another opportunity for a sprint showdown between the fast men of the peloton on stage 8. Join The Roar for live coverage from 10:30pm (AEST).
Departing Dreux the riders will encounter the first categorised climb of the day after 35km of racing.
The fourth category Cote de Pacy-sur Eure at 2km and averaging 4.3 per cent will serve as a warm up to the lumpy terrain that awaits through the mid-section of today’s stage.
The second and final categorised climb of the day is another category four climb.
The Cote de Feuquerolles is almost identical to the preceding climb averaging 4.3 per cent over its 2.3km length.
After cresting the climb the riders face undulating terrain all the way to the finish town of Amiens.
Today’s intermediate sprint is 95.5km from the finish, while the bonus sprint arrives only 21km from the finish and could see Van Avermaet again pad out his lead over Geriant Thomas.
Owing to Bastille Day more action should be on the menu tonight after the slow procession that was Stage 7.
Every French rider and French team will look to be active and present at the front of the race.
Expect a breakaway with a heavy French influence to escape in the early kilometres and survive deep into the stage before the sprint teams round them up in the approach to Amiens.
The general classification riders meanwhile will be conserving today in anticipation of the cobbles that come tomorrow.
Another sprint showdown is in store tonight and expect the likes of Sagan, Gaviria, Greipel, Cavendish, and Kittel to be present when the whips are cracking.
Dylan Gronewegen who was so impressive in taking stage 7 and now racing with the monkey off his back can sprint unencumbered which should scare the other top sprinters.
The man under most pressure today will be Arnaud Demare, racing on his national day he will be desperate for a stage win.
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.