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Weather causes changes to parcours on safety grounds

Two of the nine cobbled sections due to have been used on Stage 5 of the Tour de France are reportedly being skipped today on safety grounds, with heavy rain expected to continue throughout the day in northern France.

The sections in question are number 7 at Mons-en-Pévèle (1 kilometre in length), and number 5 (1.4km), from Orchies to Beuvry-la-Forêt, according to a tweet from Laurent Bruwier of Belgian broadcaster RTBF. They’re not the most difficult on today’s route.

Today’s stage, which incorporates some of the cobbled sections used in Paris-Roubaix – there will now be seven sections totalling 13km – is one of the most eagerly anticipated of this year’s race by fans.

However it is also perhaps the most feared by many riders including the overall contenders due to the unpredictability of riding on the pavé and the threat of losing significant time due to punctures, crashes or mechanical issues.

In the case of defending champion Chris Froome of Team Sky, there is an added concern – he is carrying injuries including one to his wrist, which may have a fracture, after crashing early on yesterday’s Stage 4.

This picture, tweeted this morning by Alberto Contador, shows the type of conditions lying in wait for the peloton today.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

4 comments

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dafyddp [428 posts] 2 years ago
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Do rules allow bike en-route bike swapping (seem to remember this during last years time trials)? Must seriously be worth considering cyclocross or even one of these http://www.pinarello.com/en/bike2014/mtb/dogma-xm-9.9

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Colin Peyresourde [1810 posts] 2 years ago
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dafyddp wrote:

Do rules allow bike en-route bike swapping (seem to remember this during last years time trials)? Must seriously be worth considering cyclocross or even one of these http://www.pinarello.com/en/bike2014/mtb/dogma-xm-9.9

Can you change for a canoe?

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Tom Amos [236 posts] 2 years ago
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Whether he's broken it or not, if it's hurting enough to require an x ray to check, presumably he's suffered significant trauma to his wrist. I "broke" my wrist recently and the x rays were inconclusive. The doctors took two weeks to decide there was no fracture but couldn't be certain. What I can report back however is that it bloody well hurt for a while! I would personally be surprised if he continues in the race. I hope I'm wrong.

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Suffolk Cycling [65 posts] 2 years ago
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While it makes for a great spectacle, I'm amazed these sections exist as they add such a luck factor to the race outcome (or unlucky factor)