Another edgy day in prospect as the race heads inland in a stage more typical of the opening week of the Tour than some of those we’ve seen so far – this one looks set to follow the tried and tested script of a small break containing at least a couple of Frenchmen looking to get their sponsors’ names in front of the TV cameras before inevitably being swept up ahead of the finale as the sprinters’ teams ratchet up the pace.
Whoever takes the likely sprint today will be able to claim – albeit with a nudge and a wink – to have won a Champs-Élysées stage in the Tour de France; the finish line today is located next to the park of that name in Saint-Quentin, where the now retired Robbie McEwen won the second of his three stages in 2006 on his way to claiming the green jersey for the third and final time.
Geraint Thomas says: This looks like another classic Tour sprint, with the usual guys again – I'd have said Marcel Kittel, but he's been struggling with illness these past few days. Greipel is on form, but GreenEdge will be desperate for a win for Matt Goss by now.
For more on this year's Tour check out our full 2012 Tour de France preview with expert analysis by Team Sky's Geraint Thomas.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.