Tour de France Report: Stage 4
The scenery may be different, but Marcel Kittel continues to dominate
By Larysa Pachulski,
1:41PM, Tue. Jul. 8, 2014
The 101st Tour de France takes place July 5-27. Click through to read our report of Stages 1-3.
Location: Le Touquet-Paris-Plage to Lille Metropole
Duration: 163.5km/101.59 mi
Terrain: Relatively flat (Two category 4 climbs)
Weather: 20C/ 68F – 10km/hr winds
Why you should care: With the mountainous stages beginning this Saturday, there are only a few days left for sprinters to get their stage wins and earn points toward the green jersey. However, GC Contenders will be looking to test their legs and put time between them and their competitors now, too.
Though this type of stage (not purely flat) tends to favor Peter Sagan, it appears from previous days' strategies that Marcel Kittel is collecting stage wins while Sagan is more interesting in collecting green jersey points off of Kittel’s back wheel. An effective strategy, but one that leaves much showmanship to be desired. (Where is the Tourminator?!)
It was Kittel with a hat-trick, his third win in only four stages of racing. Although Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar) held on to his breakaway lead up until 16km from the finish line, it was indeed a day for the sprinters, and Voeckler was saddled with the honor of most combative rider instead.
We continue on in the flat, sprinter-friendly stages tomorrow. We’ll see if any of the other sprinters are getting hungry for attention after the Press Tour of Kittel. The next couple of stages will be a warm up for the mountain climbers and a chance to show off for the sprinters, but these stages are not without risk. GC Contender Chris Froome was involved in a crash today, thankfully leaving him with only minor injuries. However, Andy Schleck was not so lucky. After he knocked into a camera man standing too far out onto the road yesterday, Team Trek announced at a press conference this morning that Schleck’s injuries were too severe for him to continue on in the Tour.
Who do you think will win the next stage? Sound off in the comments board below.