Analysis by Jean-François Pescheux, Tour competition director: “This stage is the first really lumpy one of the race. There is nothing that will cause huge problems for the riders, but a continuous run of ups and downs, each about a kilometre or two in length, and that could leave some of the small fry struggling to stay with the pace. If the field gets lined out, just one lapse of concentration can lead to a rider losing contact with the main field. This should make for an interesting stage, with lots of action, but it should pretty much all come back together towards the finish, as the last six kilometres are on the main road into Joigny. This may well end up as another showdown between the sprinters.”

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