Le Mans > Chateauroux

With the bumpy terrain of Brittany and Normandy behind them, today’s stage profile is the flattest of the 2011 Tour and even one third into the race the sprinters are beginning to run out of opportunities. As a result, this won’t be a day when a breakaway is allowed to stick.

Thought for the Day

Chateauroux is where Mark Cavendish got his first Tour de France stage win back in 2008. If he hasn’t already opened his account in this year’s race, he’ll be one of the favourites to make it stage win number 16 today.

GT’s tips

There'll be attacks from the start but they won't be allowed to get away and the sprinters' teams will want to control things ahead of the bunch finish involving the usual suspects, especially with the race heading towards the mountains.

Today's a typical tour sprint stage... Cav's first stage win was here in 2008. The run in isn't too technical and I think HTC will get a good lead out together today. I don't know what the wind's like but if it's the same as the last couple of days it could have an impact. Other sprinters up would be the 'usual' I think Farrar, Cav, Greipel (he could go better today as there's a few tired bodies now and he doesn't like the fighting at the finish, so may have more space). Not sure who is sprinting from us, Swifty may get a chance... My money for the win is on Cav though.

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